Civil War And After


During this time period, these films gave a great insight into what was happening inside the war, and outside of the war. Some show what fueled the war, and what caused it. Others are before the war started, mostly the cause of this whole war being started.

#1 12 Years A Slave (2014)

This film takes place years before the Civil War was to be. The viewers meet Solomon Northup, a free black man living in upstate New York City. After doing a job, Solomon is kidnapped by white men and sold to southern slave owners. Solomon spends twelve years with his abusive owner but then finds redemption in a Canadian abolitionist that will change his course in life. It was released to viewers in October of 2013. This film was very well liked by modern day viewers and has been talked about since its release. The popular website Rotten Tomatoes gave it 96%, which is a five out of five stars on the film. Another popular movie website,, gave this film a 97% (which is another five out of five star rating.) Then IMDb gave the film an 8.1/10, which comes out to be a four out of five star rating.

This films criticism was very consistent and mostly positive. From the top critics on Rotten Tomatoes, the majority all agreed that this film was a must see for everyone. It was said that the film showed the ugly side of slavery and what really happened during this era to African Americans, free or enslaved. I chose this film as number one because of the impact it had on the viewers. It gave a very accurate depiction of what really happened in the slavery and pre-civil war era. It is not an easy movie to watch, but modern day audiences received it well

#2 Gone With The Wind (1940)


This film is a classic novel turned into classic film. It is set during the time of the beginning, and through the end of the Civil War. The audience meets the privileged main character, Scarlett O’Hara, a white woman living in the south. The audience gets to witness her survival in the south during the Civil War and Reconstruction. And of course since it’s a drama, her love triangle between two completely different men.This film was released in January of 1940. During the time it was released it was one of the first to ever be in color.

This added to its outrageous popularity. Rotten Tomatoes has given this film a 95%, which is a five out of five star rating. And the other website IMDb gave the film an 8.2/10, which is a four out of five star rating.The criticism is fairly harsh on the film, for obvious reasons. From the top critics on Rotten Tomatoes, many praise the film for its time period but add that many do not watch the film for its historical accuracy. Many comment that the color of the film and love affair Scarlett has with the other leading man, Rhett Butler, keeps the audience coming back for more.

I chose this film because it gives insight on the “other side” of the Civil War. We see the struggle a privileged white woman had to go through, with some help of her in home slaves. The audience is able to see somewhat of what a Mammy was to a white family during this time.

#3 Glory (1989)

This film begins after the Battle of Antietam; the audience is introduced to Colonel Robert Gould Shaw. He is offered the chance to command an all-African-American regiment ever in the United States, “the 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry” (Google). Col. Shaw puts together an incredibly strong and proud unit that includes escaped slaves. The unit wants to fight in the heat of the battle.

The film was released in December of 1989. This film was well liked by most viewers. The website Rotten Tomatoes gave this film a 93%, which is a five out of five stars. gave this film a 7.9/10, which is barely a four out of five stars.The criticism on this film is mostly positive. Many of the top critics on Rotten Tomatoes reviewed it as being “A stirring and long overdue tribute to the black soldiers who fought for the Union cause in the Civil War.” It was also referred to as complicated film, but well thought out. Many also praised the movie for being one of the best films about the Civil War to date.

I chose this film because of the content and because it shows what real events could have happened during the Civil War. The audience is shown both sides, from the whites who fought and the African Americans who fought for the war efforts.

#4  Django Unchained  (2012)

Django Unchained (2012) Poster

This film begins two years before the Civil War was to begin. The audience is introduced to Django, a slave that was recently bought at auction. Django is being escorted to his new owners home when their route was crossed by an unorthodox German bounty hunter named Dr. King Schultz. Django then accompanies Dr. Schultz in his bounty hunting. They hunt the south for the most wanted criminals, and succeeds in them all. At some point, Django decides the duo needs to track down his long lost wife, and rescue her from her owners at the Candie plantation.

This film was released in December of 2012. This film was really well liked by most viewers. The website Rotten Tomatoes gave the film an 88%, which is an four and a half stars out of five. gave the film an 8.5/10, which is a four out of five stars. The criticism of the film is a mixture of good, bad and somewhat indifference. Many of the top critics on Rotten Tomatoes praised director, Quentin Tarantino’s work on the film as one of his best yet.

I chose this film because of the nature of the it and because it shows the sides of people most do not show in most films. The audience gets to see the treatment slaves, the audacity of the slave owners (and their workers), and also the superiority  of some more seasoned slaves to those below them.

#5 Amistad (1997)

This film is set in 1839, the slave ship Amistad set sail from Cuba to America. During the long trip, Cinque leads the slaves in an unprecedented uprising. They are then held prisoner in Connecticut, and their release becomes the subject of heated debate. Freed slave Theodore Joadson wants Cinque and the others exonerated and recruits property lawyer Roger Baldwin to help his case. Eventually, John Quincy Adams also becomes an ally. (Google)

This film was released in December or 1997. This film was well liked by audiences. The website Rotten Tomatoes gave the film a 75%, which is roughly four out of five stars. gave the film a 7.2/10, which comes out to a three and a half out of five stars. There was  barely any information on the criticism of this film, one I did find, gave the film praise on the actors portraying the characters.

I chose this film because it shares the reality of slave uprisings that happened during this time. Also because of the repercussions of their uprising when they get to where they are going. It shows the battle between the slaves life and deaths.


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