We went to see Lincoln on Saturday night and other than Daniel Day Lewis’ stellar performance as the man, I was not impressed. First, there was scene after scene of more angry white men deciding what will happen in this country and frankly, I had enough of that in this past presidential election. The ugliness of a person who does not believe in emancipation met the ugliness of people who do not believe in civil rights for gays. Been there, done that. Over it.
I think this movie could have easily been a great movie if we had seen it from the perspective of Corporal Ira Clark, who repeats the last lines of Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address after a white soldier starts it. David Oyelowo is given short screen time but it is his perspective on this historic moment in our history that would have resonated with me and been more telling than the overburdened screen time given to the whole lot of white actors who played the both sides of the coin – those pro slavery and those hoping to end it.
I mean this movie was not really about Lincoln right, it was about the 13th Amendment, and since it affected African Americans more than any other peoples of the world, I’m frankly shocked at how little of their faces and their lives we saw in this film that was filtered through a very white lens.
So the movie wasted an opportunity to become a real history lesson, one that I could share with Tin when he was of age to watch such a feature length film. As it stands, there isn’t any reason for him to see it.
I have seen so many people posting on Facebook about Lincoln, what a great movie, etc., but I have yet to see anyone talk about how this movie missed a great opportunity to talk about something so fundamental to who we are as a people in this country. I wonder if anyone else was feeling the same way as they watched it?