As a Civil War history buff, I had to see the movie on it’s premiere. It’s something I usually don’t do with movies, because I can’t stand the crowds and sitting next to strange people that I will probably never talk to after the movie. Not to mention that it is 2.5 hours and that makes it inevitable for human functions to naturally take place inside the theater.
I originally went to a 3pm showing and was surprised that it was already full. My wife and I thought that we would have a casual date night early and that way we would be back with the kids for the rest of the evening. But, that was as far stretched as I could have ever imagined. For a Friday afternoon it was very strange to have been at capacity already. So long story short, we had to turn around and wait for a 540 showing. That wasn’t so bad since the theater was so close to our house. So it gave us the opportunity to eat without spending any money and to actually talk to each other on our “date night”.
Once we got into the theater I could now understand how it was sold out. The crowd was so much more mature; I’m talking the average age being 40+. Which I didn’t mind, because I was raised around older demographics growing up. The younger people that were there, you could tell that they were there with a purpose. Some were neo-buffs like me growing up and had a genuine interest in this figure that was coming to life for a couple of hours.
The lyrical content of the movie was very rich and had a great meaning all throughout the movie. The movie pretty much revolved around the 13th Amendment, which abolished slavery in the United States. Although, the Emancipation Proclamation was already issued prior to the February 1st vote it left loopholes that could possibly reinstate slavery after the Civil War. The movie spoke as if Lincoln was burdened by the fact that he was in the middle of a moral crisis of the fact that he would be throwing blacks back into slavery as opposed to making a mark in history for not only the four million in bondage, but “for the millions that were unborn”.
I liked the fact that the film was Washington focused, because with the research of history it would be easy to jump all into the other spheres that were working parts in the decision making process. It showed that Lincoln had a lot of people helping him to twist the rest of the arms of the rest of the Democrats to help him get the Amendment passed. What was more intriguing was that he was known for procrastinating everything else, but his opponents could not understand why in the world he was so persistent with getting it passed. I always believed that somehow God has His own clock instilled in all of us to do His will before it is time for us to leave this Earth. Some of us act and some of us just remain idle. But, Lincoln even questioned himself to wonder if he was “fit for the times” that he lived in.
What I think could have been added was the influence of the abolitionist movement such as Frederick Douglas and all of those that pleaded to the White House. Not to mention, that most of the other slave holding countries had abolished slavery already and the Americans was the last place on Earth that carried it out legally. It had to be the easiest contradiction for anyone on the outside looking in to learn that a land that stood for liberty for all did not include those with a greater presence of melanin in their skin. It’s simple theology that it was not only an argument against man, but an argument against God.
Although, the Union was saved it would be over 100 before African Americans would be able to vote for someone into and the constant terrorism of lynchings and bombings that plagued the South with Jim Crow laws. Unfortunately, it would cost the life of many more Americans to include Rev. King, JFK, Robert Kennedy, Malcolm X, and many others.