When I saw the staggering two and half hour length of this movie, I hesitated to see it. In the end I went, but missed the first five minutes, a sacrifice I was okay with since there was a lot of movie still left for me to watch. But, I do think I missed something, cause those first few minutes might have better explained why we kept flashing back and forth between two places in time.
Either way, this movie did a lot of story telling without giving me a reason why. I learned a lot, I had no idea the whole giving a slave 40 acres of land was actually revoked after Andrew Johnson took over the presidency. This movie did a great job of teaching some history, focusing on a side we don’t often speak of, and doing so in an entertaining way.
But as a movie, that is in movie theaters, we are kind of stretching things. This movie would have had a better home as a documentary on a history channel. I may be the first to say this, but… the movie wasn’t Hollywood-ized enough. It needed a bit more exaggeration, it felt like it stayed too true to the real events and as such, was a boring, really long movie, whose main goal seemed to be to teach me some history about America’s brutal beginning. Or maybe it needed to funnel down and focus on one story, instead of trying to cover such a large time frame, cause this was one of those films where you think its over, but no, no there’s more. This happens a good three or four times. And yes, people did fall asleep and snore during my viewing.
It’s a great movie—its place just isn’t in a movie theater, in my opinion.