Though I was lukewarm about the film, you've got to be impressed with the way Spielberg's "Lincoln" uncannily
mirrors the political situation today.Two warring parties, a lame duck congress, incendiary issues - the
Constitutional amendment franchising the former slaves versus a compromise to
avoid a fiscal cliff - and presidents who have presided over four years of national
parallels are so strong that Senate Majority leader Harry Reid and Minority
Leader Mitch McConnell (of making Obama a one term president fame) have sent a joint
letter to their colleagues inviting them to a special screening
of the film on December 19. It will be followed by a Q & A with Steven
Spielberg and Daniel Day-Lewis.
How can it fail? Anyway, good luck to them. I fear, though, that many
of our elected representatives will be taking the "Abraham Lincoln: Vampire
to resolving things as opposed to the tiresome, painstaking, no-fun Lincoln-esque tactics of compromise.
Another role model might be the hero of "Django Unchained," which
opens Friday. As far as I know, no congressmen have been invited to a special
screening of this film followed by a Q & A with Quentin Tarantino.
Nonetheless, one point of interest is how the two films bookend the Civil War,
with "Django" taking place in 1858 before the war started, while "Lincoln" is set in 1865 as
the war nears its end. In "Django" the ex-slave of the title solves the problem
of involuntarily servitude by killing everybody
-- it's a historical revisionist
scenario like "Inglorious Basterds" that, if followed to its logical conclusion
(and the film calls out for sequels), would obviate the need for a Civil War,
since all the slave holders would be pretty much dead.
This is the kill-everybody-on-the-other-side approach and I must say that on the screen it is immensely
satisfying. So maybe it would be a good idea to show "Django" to the leaders
debating our country's future -- it might purge all their aggression and
inflexibility and allow them to adopt the wisdom and civility of Abraham