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Steven Spielberg’s “Lincoln” tells story behind 13th Amendment

Contributor Review

Published: Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Updated: Tuesday, December 11, 2012 17:12


Courtesy of Touchstone Pictures

Daniel Day Lewis (above) stars as President Abraham Lincoln in Steven Spielberg's 2012 release, "Lincoln."


“Things which equal the same thing also equal one another,” is just one of many brilliant quotes from the film “Lincoln.” The dialogue is witty, and the English is 18th Century. It’s like poetry to the ear. Although this movie is charged with historical facts, it will keep you spellbound with the subtle jokes and emotionally electric scenes. Director Steven Spielberg tells the story behind the 13th Amendment to the constitution of the United States and the struggle to end the civil war in the movie “Lincoln.”

Disturbed by the onset of the Civil War and slavery, Abraham Lincoln, the Republican president, played by Daniel Day-Lewis, decides to amend the constitution, abolishing slavery. He faces heated opposition  from within his cabinet and from Democrats. As a family man, his wife, played by Sally Field, and sons don't leave him without drama either.

Lewis brings Abraham Lincoln to life in a way that’s simply great acting. Seemingly 6’4” in height, the shrewd look on his face and the slender figure vibrating with the charisma ascribed to President Lincoln, is presented most accurately. Lincoln isn’t depicted as just some action hero who saves the day in brave combat with the enemy in the last scene. In reality, his incisiveness and earnest ambitions of obliterating slavery were met with rebellion from most members of the Democratic Party and the Confederate States who threatened to secede from the Union if he pushed through with that act. 

He was faced with fierce oppositions in a nation already reeking of the stench from the Civil War that mercilessly consumed its citizens. He dared to envision a United States of America where all men were free and equal. Lincoln’s unflinching courage and audaciousness helped create the 13th Amendment which outlawed involuntary servitude and slavery (except as punishment for a crime). Eventually Lincoln united a divided nation, at the price of his life. The plot of the movie is mostly constructed around the passing of the 13th amendment and less on Lincoln’s life and assassination, though all are inextricably webbed entities.

This film will walk you through America’s gory past and make you appreciate the present. 

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