I'm not sure if you know much about history, I know I don't, but what I do realise is that whoever has the pen writes his or her-story. So a lot of what we know is written by the winners or in some cases, the survivors, which leads me to the historical figure that is the 16th President of The USA Mr. Abraham Lincoln.
Historically it has been written that Abe Lincoln was a friend of the black folk, which I’m not questioning. This film mentions this attribute however my previous comment about the pen (blah blah blah) so who is the person behind the pen of this film/story?
Seth Grahame-Smith wrote the book and the producers Tim Burton and Timur Berkmanbetov (a Director too) raised the money to make the film paying Seth to write the screenplay.
So "what's it about?" I hear you ask? Come closer and I’ll tell you but be warned, there are nuff spoilers so don't read any further if you want to be surprised at the surprising bits (but in my experience once the film starts you will be so engrossed in it that my review will be something you won’t even remember....)
The film starts by showing you a young Abe (about 11ish) helping his father who works for a slave owner who is in the process of separating a black family who he knows well, because they have a son called Willie Johnson who is Abe’s age. Dad witnesses the distressing scenes but does nothing about it. Young Abe seeing a young black boy being manhandled picks up his little axe ready to attack. Dad tells son to ignore what's happening, and like all good leaders of people he ignores this bad advice and attacks the bad man landowner who displays rapid reactions in disarming Abe.
The landowner is now vexed with dad and son for interfering and demands that Abe’s Dad pays his debt immediately, but due to the fact that the Dad hasn’t got the means to pay, the landowner states ominously that "there are many ways to reclaim a debt..."
That night Abe witnesses his mother being attacked by the landowner causing her to die from her injuries. Dad buries his wife and makes his son swear that he will not do anything rash. The son promises.
Eleven years later, Dad dies which frees Abe from his vow; he is now a strong young man and can do what he wants to do.
While Abe is in a bar gaining Dutch courage to do what he's gotta do, he meets another young man called Henry Struges who is seemingly of similar age he tells Abe that "only a man looking to kill someone drinks like this” then slaps him on the back.
A weapon falls from Abe's coat....
Abe attempts to kill the landowner but he doesn't manage to do it although he does wound him by shooting him in the eye thus blinding him (more later). The landowner starts to beat up on Abe, however just has he is about to strike a telling blow, in comes the young man from the bar who moves just like his assailant but what is his assailant? (The clue my slow of thought friends is in the title).
Abe asks Henry for help in killing the landowner but Henry states that there are many, many more just like the landowner and once he has killed him, then what?
Abe explains he will do whatever Henry wants just as long as he trains him. Henry agrees, with conditions such as Abe must have no friends, a wife or children plus he must keep a low profile while he lives in Homer Simpson's town, Springfield. Abe agrees to these conditions, he works in a shop as an assistant by day and is a vigilante by night.
Fast forward to the middle part of the film where Abe is now the 16th President of the USA and he's put down the Axe and is preparing to fight against the opposing army in the Civil war (1861-65) and in order to defeat the 11 states that make up the Confederates (who wanted to maintain slavery, his side, The Union do not), Abe issues a proclamation that all Silver is to be handed over to the Government. Why? Because the leader of the vampires Adam (the first just like the first Adam in the Bible) has joined the side of the Confederates. Why? Because the Vampires can have a ready supply of “tanned meat” to drink.
Now for my thoughts about a few things I saw in the film.
There were a few quotes that I thought were interesting such as when Abe's wife says "don't give up because it's hard. It's all about footwork and knowing where to plant your feet", which is wisdom. Also, whilst I was watching the film a thought came to me that "in the absence of light, there is darkness but when light and darkness meet then there are shadows" i.e., grey areas.
The above quote makes sense when watching the film because good people sometimes employ bad people in order to achieve a sort of stability (think shadow governments, black pope, counterfeit religion, etc). This is because very little light exists, people kill other people in order to maintain "order'.
Take the Battle of Gettysburg. 46,000 American casualties. Both sides wanted stability and should never have stopped talking. In this film the Confederates employed dark forces thus creating shadow/grey area.
Also noticed that when Henry asked Abe if he wanted to know "the secrets" i.e., to be illuminated, we see Abe with one eye closed when asked but it completely opened once he accepted the offer (a type of illuminati initiation ceremony perhaps?).
While being trained to use "The Force", Henry asks Abe, "What’s your motivation?" Abe explains that it is to avenge his dead mother, while swinging an axe but making no impression on his target. Henry enlightens him by telling him that "real power doesn't come from hate, but rather from the truth".
Also remember that in this film, the Government asked, no, demanded that people should hand over their Silver. Don’t forget that in the 1930's before the War, the American Government made the same demands but this time it was for people's Gold. Do be aware that in this time scale, in every shopping centre there's a shop asking people for their Gold.
Are we about to go to war? (Executive Order 6102 required all persons to deliver on or before May 1, 1933, all but a small amount of gold coin, gold bullion, and gold certificates owned by them to the Federal Reserve, in exchange for $20.67 (equivalent to $371.10 today) per troy ounce. Under the Trading With the Enemy Act of 1917, as amended by the recently passed Emergency Banking Act of March 9, 1933, violation of the order was punishable by a fine up to $10,000 ($167,700 if adjusted for inflation as of 2010) or up to ten years in prison, or both. Most citizens who owned large amounts of gold had it transferred to countries such as Switzerland.
What is the connection between the un-dead and Black people in this film and why use a historical figure such as Abe Lincoln? Read the book as well as watch this quality film and for those who have a problem believing in the existence of vampires, do be aware that last week over 100 bodies have been exhumed in a European graveyard and apart from sharing the obvious distinction of all being deceased; all had a wooden stake in the chest cavity.
I thoroughly enjoyed this movie because of its twists and turns.
Go and see it and enjoy it for yourself.......
Article by @gmanzen / 25th June 2012
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