I really do hate to bring up this disaster of a movie, but I decided to show part of it to my Civil War class today. Unfortunately, it looks like a severe case of senioritis has set in and it is not clear as to whether it can be treated. I was actually interested in their reaction as no one had seen it. Their reviews were predictable: based on the number of times they burst out in laughter one would think they thought it was a comedy. The dialogue was simply too dramatic and contrived for my students; they didn’t believe it. Perhaps we will watch a bit more before we finish the semester with a reading by David Blight on Civil War memory.
One final comment re: the movie. It finally dawned on me that many of the scenes look alot like recent Civil War paintings by Mort Kunstler. I know he did the companion volume for the movie, but is it possible that Ron Maxwell internalized a number of these sentimental scenes and transferred them to the big screen? I don’t know too many movies where I grow more disgusted each time I watch it. Of course I can only handle it in very small doses.