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Lincoln (2012)Lincoln (2012)

           Steven Spielberg's portrayal of America's sixteenth president (played by Daniel Day-Lewis) is way long at 149 minutes. Subplots built on Lincoln stereotypes don't add much to the story, like his wife Mary's migraines, their fight over their son's desire to join the Union army, Lincoln's bawdy humor and home spun story-telling, or his "public baths" in which he received ordinary Americans at the White House. We know where the real drama lies, and we even know the outcome in advance. Nonetheless, Lincoln the man and his moment in American history are so great that the movie is well worth watching. It's remarkable to re-imagine how Lincoln urged passage of the Thirteenth Amendment on April 8,1864, since many thought that his 1863 Emancipation Proclamation was a temporary war measure. Democrats reviled him as "Abraham Africanus" and Republicans were divided. But the amendment did pass, thank God: " Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction. Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation."

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