I must admit I went to the "Lincoln" movie with an eye and ear slanted towards historical truth...not so much to be entertained by the theatrical production or keen wisdom of the Director and how he with dramatic excellence takes us back in time. I am particulary curious however of his decision of why he selected this time period to begin the movie. While I understand the movie's context of the 13th Admendment and Lincoln's turmultuous journey through that...but I was told that Spielberg had been trying to produce this film for the past ten years. Surely his research would have exposed Lincoln's white supremist views on race in America during thorughout his lifetime. He belived white were superior to black, did not believe whites and blacks could live together in America, particulary scare of inter-racial marriage and wanted to deport 2+ million blacks...to Haiti! Lincoln was a man of contradiction. That frustrated the hell out of his opposition because he was always vague and non-commital regarding slavery. He was not an Abolitionist and had no moral stimulus within him to end slavery...and in fact as a Legislator in Illinois and Congress supported pro-slavery laws. The "Fugitive Slave Law" the most glaring example.
Again my point is not to demonize Abraham Lincoln...but to understand the movie "Lincoln" in the historical context of a slave during this period of time in American history and one who would have been sitting in that bacony...while the all-white Congress debated the 13th Admendment bill.
I think one of the most poignant scenes from the movie is when Lincoln and his wife's maid meet for a brief chat regarding slavery...and she asked Lincoln..."well want do you believe Mr. Lincoln". Spielberg doesn't provide an answer and the movie doesn't provide the contrast of his character to allow this "movie audience" to get a sense of his troubles that were coming from a number of fronts. Most of which were self-inflicted. Was he bound by any moral obligation to end slavery?...the answer to that is NO! He believed slavery would end a natural death during the next 100 years.
I am going to watch "Lincoln" again from different lenses and perspective(s)...but there has not been much discussion about the movie and I was wondering has anyone else seen the movie besides...ME!
I'm going to see it over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend. I'm looking forward to seeing it. At work today, I saw the son of one of our business owners sitting in an office reading a book about Lincoln, and I asked him if he was going to see the movie. He said he already saw it and wanted to read more about him. He is probably about 10 years old. I was impressed.
I know the movie was based on the book, Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln by Doris Kearns Goodwin. This was the book the young boy was reading.
I agree that the issue of slavery was really thrust into Lincoln's hands as a political necessity, not something he sought. I have been kind of reluctant to see the movie as I doubted it would tackle this ambiguity. he was a remarkable man, but still a man of his times.
I believe we shouldn't judge people on our time but on their time.
I never expect movies to capture the whole truth about historical events and people.
There were those of "his time" that did not believe slavery was morally or legal under God or the U.S. Constitution. They constantly protested Lincoln for his opposition to freedom for blacks enslaved during his presidency. The Second Confiscation Act was riding his tale and he was forced to deal with it!
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