Directed by: Steven Spielberg
Written by: Tony Kushner (screenplay), Doris Kearns Goodwin (book) (in part)
Starring: Daniel Day-Lewis, Sally Field, David Strathairn and Tommy Lee Jones
Seeing movies after they have been stampeded over and analyzed by the critical mainstream can be both a blessing and a curse, as it is with Steven Spielberg’s latest historical filmmaking venture, Lincoln. I often make it a point not to read reviews of movies I plan on writing about until after I’ve seen the movie and collected my thoughts, and this one is no exception.
That being said, there was an op-ed in the New York Times released by Northwestern history professor Kate Masur days before Lincoln was released nationally. It was titled “In Spielberg’s Lincoln, Passive Black Characters,” and it addresses just what its title proclaims in a succinct, powerful fashion. Masur is not a professional film critic, and her piece is not an evaluation of the whole production but merely a response to the specific part of it that her title describes.