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American Experience: Death & The Civil War
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At 120 minutes, Burns' pace is deliberate and provocative. The opening segment is jarring. A few moments before his death, a Mississippi soldier begins writing a letter to his father. The man bleeds onto the paper has he haltingly reveals his last thoughts about his life, service, death and afterlife. Within this 12 minute preface viewers' hearts may begin to break. The images that Burns selects include photography from the era; within the images there are ghosts, individuals who moved during the 30 second to a minute and half exposure time. There are subtleties in the images and texts that may move past the causal viewer; such may be the estimate that of the 750,000+ deaths 50% were not identified by name.
The chapters are each about 15 minutes in length: Death, Burying, Naming, Honoring, Believing and Doubting, Accounting, and Remembering.Read more ›
I saw this documentary and although I am a Civil War historian as well, I had never delved into the citizens left to deal with thousands of dead soldiers & animals when the warring armies lit out of town. This film is stunning, despite its subject matter, and I have the book that it is based on. The documentary is EXCELLENT! Today's citizens, mostly women & children, could never handle what these people had to do, yet they set about burying the dead as soon as possible with no resources but their own & it was a horrific & daunting task.Read more ›
There's really nothing I can write that will adequatly convey the impact of this documentary. This is a must-see for every American.
Recommneded in the strongest possible terms.
I am the Daughter/Granddaughter/Great Granddaughter of morticians, so death is my family business. But I never really thought about hos the social aspects of death would have been changed by the war. It's not a topic that is addressed in schools, as are many of the, what are considered, distasteful topics of life.
I am very glad that I watched this.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
BOTH SIDES OF THIS CIVIL WAR FOUGHT ON U.S. SOIL WERE WELL PREPARED FOR ALL OUT WAR ...... AND NOT PREPARED AT ALL FOR THE AFTERMATH OF EACH BATTLE ! Read morePublished 5 months ago by NASCARFAN
This documentary drew me in immediately. I found it totally compelling, and wound up watching it more than once. Read morePublished 8 months ago by bookcrazy
Facinating and largely untold story of how both sides handled the unexpected heavy death toll durring the Cival War.Published 8 months ago by J. Fischer
A powerful perspective on how the unprecedented scale of death in the civil war changed society's view of death. Read morePublished 9 months ago by Ron Baker