By Dr. Marciene Mattleman
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The movie Lincoln, which is being considered for an Academy Award, sheds light on the conflicts over the emancipation of slaves. Other films about our presidents have gained artistic recognition and the website “Screen Junkies’’ shares some best choices.
Jefferson in Paris, in 1995, dared to explore Jefferson’s relationship with a slave, Sally Hemings. Frost Nixon in 2008, reenacts the interview between Nixon and British journalist David Frost. Henry Fonda starred in Young Mr. Lincoln, in 1939, listed as a “must-see” movie.
The decision to drop atomic bombs in World War II is explored in Truman, in 1995. W, in 2008, portrayed George W. Bush from his early days as President to his re-election campaign. In The Buccaneer Andrew Jackson, not yet President, defends the war of 1812. Sunrise in Campobello, in 1960, gives a glimpse of Franklin Roosevelt’s struggle with polio.
These films are not documentaries. They take license and show the more human sides of the presidents, but it’s still a good way to learn history.