NewsBlaze search box Daily News header

Looking for Lincoln PBS-TV Film Review

By     get stories by email

Checkered Legacy of Lincoln Revisited by PBS Series


What's the truth about Abraham Lincoln? Was he really the man mythologized as "The Great Emancipator" and a champion of equality for African-Americans? Or was he, as some detractors say, a racist only freed the slaves as a last resort to save the Union because the North was losing the Civil War. Or still again, was he, as unrepentant rebels still describe, a traitor of Southern whites who single-handedly ruined the nation forever with the Emancipation Proclamation.

These are the divergent points-of-view of the 16th President of the United States presented in Looking for Lincoln, a 2-part PBS Series hosted by Harvard University Professor Henry Louis "Skip" Gates. Among the historians weighing-in is Ebony Magazine editor Emeritus Lerone Bennett, Jr. author of Forced into Glory, a damning biography which depicts Honest Abe as a hypocrite who enslaved far more blacks than he ever freed. And at the other extreme, Gates interviews some rednecks he tracked down at a sons of the Confederacy convention who looked like they were ready to string him up if he pushed the issue.

Not surprisingly, most of the luminaries participating in the program tend to speak of Lincoln in more glowing terms. Included in this group are Pulitzer Prize-winners Doris Kearns Goodwin and Tony Kushner, former Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, and Professors David Blight, Allen Guelzo, James Horton and David Herbert.

As usual with his PBS programs, Skip Gates is given to making some of his typically-grating, nails-on-the-blackboard pronouncements, such as "If I had been President, I would have followed the same blueprint." Equally-infuriating is his saying "Doris was right," in going out of his way to rubber-stamp Kearns Goodwin's lame explanation for Abe's decades-long delay in joining the abolitionist movement. "Lincoln had to live in his times," she explains.

Perhaps even more ponderous is her assertion that "It's not Lincoln's fault that he was mythologized" despite her adding to the mystique with her best seller "Team of Rivals." Then, she makes the equally-bizarre claim that he was assassinated "on the happiest day of his life" without providing any conclusive proof to draw such a dramatic conclusion.

Nonetheless, Looking for Lincoln is a worthwhile bio-pic which knocks off his pedestal an American icon undeserving of secular sainthood.

Excellent (4 stars)
Rated: TV-PG
Running time: 120 minutes
Studio: PBS

Looking for Lincoln premieres on PBS on Wednesday, February 11th at 9 PM (ET/PT)

Kam Williams

  Please click this get stories by email button to be notified about future stories, and please leave a comment below.

  Please leave a comment here     If it does not display within 10 seconds, please refresh the page

Related Movie Reviews News

When Hollywood releases a violent action film, 'loosely-based' on truth, it's certain that Hollywood is about to play fast and loose with the historical record.
Prairie Miller has a conversation with Will Smith, David Morse and Concussion director, Peter Landesman, plus news of the Zomba Prison project and Star Wars.
The Women Film Critics Circle is a gathering of national and international women's voices presenting a fresh and differently experienced viewpoint from the primarily white male dominated film criticism world.
Surreal sequences instead of theme, and pretentious vinaigrettes replace what should be a slice-of-life experience. It is art house, without the art, tedious to watch.
This true story about a transgender man suffers badly from overkill. At two hours, it's too long; the music is too dramatic; the actors try too hard and there's much too much crying.
Prairie Miller talks to Elizabeth Hurley about The Royals, and to Nina Paley, artist, filmmaker, animator, cartoonist and free culture copyright activist.

 

NewsBlaze Writers Of The Month


Popular Stories This Month

newsletter logo

What's Hot At NewsBlaze.com?
1 .Deadly Quake Rattles Taiwan, Styrofoam Building Collapses - 41
2 .Could Sanders Beat the Clinton Machine? - 22
3 .Mandatory Military Service Works in Israel - 11
4 .Michael Oher Interview With Kam Williams - 11
5 .Five Most Anticipated Smartphones of 2016 - 11
6 .When Dino Sang, That Was Amore - 9
7 .Bird Flu Update WARNING New Virus Transmits Human to Human - 6
8 .Keepin' the Faith: My Baby's Getting Married DVD Review - 8
9 .Censorship in America - 5
10.'There is no right way to do a wrong thing.' - 4
Updated: 8:45 PST     396

NewsBlaze Editors

editors

NewsBlaze Writers

news writer images

Writers Wanted

Help NewsBlaze provide daily news, including Business Top Stories, Technology, The Environment and more. Apply: NewsBlaze Writer

Follow NewsBlaze

NewsBlaze Social Media Logos NewsBlaze Facebook NewsBlaze LinkedIn NewsBlaze Twitter NewsBlaze YouTube NewsBlaze MySpace NewsBlaze Fan Page NewsBlaze StumbleUpon NewsBlaze Political Cartoons NewsBlaze Editorial Cartoons

NewsBlaze
Copyright © 2004-2016 NewsBlaze Pty. Ltd.
Use of this website is subject to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy  | DMCA Notice               Press Room   |    Visit NewsBlaze Mobile Site