As you probably know, the highly anticipated Steven Spielberg movie about Abraham Lincoln has just hit box offices. Over Thanksgiving break I had the opportunity to go and see it with my parents. I was pretty excited due to the fact that it has received great reviews from critics and viewers alike as well as the fact that I’m a history major and am really interested in Lincoln. I didn’t know what exactly to expect as far as the movie itself because the trailers are fairly vague.
I was pleased to discover that the movie was not just the typical, long, boring biographical movie. It was a narrative of a certain time period–in this particular case it was when the Civil War was in decline and Lincoln was pushing to pass the 13th Amendment to the Constitution that was to outlaw all forms of slavery and involuntary servitude in the United States. It was as if one of the articles we read in the beginning of the semester came to life, except for the fact that it would have been a memoir based on personal experience. That’s what makes a movie like Lincoln more interesting in my opinion. The story is not told through one man’s eyes–it follows the story itself and all of the people involved through a spectator’s (the audience) view. Spielberg got the us, the audience, to identify ourselves with historical figures like Abraham Lincoln, Thaddeus Stevens, and William Seward and even got me to laugh at Lincoln’s 19th century jokes and realize through visuals how beloved a president he was.
I don’t exactly know how historically accurate Lincoln, is (I’m sure Professor Pinsker would have a thing or two to say about it!) but it brings to millions a story that every American needs to understand and truly immerse themselves in.