From social studies to the silver screen
“My concern is not whether God is on our side; my greatest concern is to be on God’s side, for God is always right.” These are words once uttered by President Abraham Lincoln.
Lincoln’s life story has made the jump from fifth grade social studies text-books to the big screen in Steven Spielberg’s latest creation, “Lincoln.”
The anticipation and expectations surrounding the movie release was high, as award-winning actor Daniel Day-Lewis plays the 16th president of the United States in the film adaptation of the biography, “Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln.”
Day-Lewis’ uncanny performance captures Lincoln’s final four months in his role as president, and depicts him as a righteous man who was unwavering in his Civil War efforts and moving forward with the 13th amendment.
Spielberg painted a picture of a president who was not only deeply committed to his family but also steadfast in his belief in God’s law.
The iconic film director wasted no time signing the rights to create this film.
Numerous times throughout the film, Lincoln refers to the statement that “all men are created equal.” One of the most memorable lines was: “Four score and seven years ago, our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.”
Although this quote may not be new to many, it still has a powerful message that Spielberg conveyed in the film — all men are created equal by God.
The movie shows a dramatized version of the inner-workings of the U.S. Congress as Democrats and Republicans fought over whether to pass the 13th amendment while Lincoln’s secretary of state hired men to win votes from Democrats.
The transformational process of the characters went beyond wardrobe, hair and makeup. Even during interviews, the cast did not break character.
Throughout the entire production, even when they were not filming, cast members were instructed to address Day-Lewis as Lincoln.
While some critics say this film is anything but historically accurate, one critic goes so far to call the movie “propaganda” and claims that Lincoln was, in fact, racist and cared very little about abolishing slavery — “Lincoln” and the biography it is based on, beg to differ.
Regardless of the historical accuracy, the movie sheds light on the issues of racism and ignorance. Although racism is still a reality, it is one that few are willing to rebuke.
This is what the movie portrays: a man unwilling to compromise his belief that slavery was unjust and ought to be abolished — not just for his era but for eras to come.
If you want a Hollywood rendition of one of the most crucial eras in U.S. history, “Lincoln” is sure to delight your senses and surprise you with facets of Lincoln’s personality before which you may not have known.
The film is two and a half hours and rated PG-13 and is appropriate for teenage audiences. Some material may be inappropriate for children under 13 years old.