For centuries people have asked how it is possible that Thomas Jefferson, the man who wrote the creed for America, declaring that all men are created equal and entitled to the rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, could also live his life as a slaveholder. Martin Doblmeier answers these questions with the acclaimed THOMAS JEFFERSON: A VIEW FROM THE MOUNTAIN. THOMAS JEFFERSON: A VIEW FROM THE MOUNTAIN explores Jefferson and his personal and public dilemma about race, and his paradoxical relationship with slavery. He owned many slaves and wrote that he considered most blacks to be dull and anomalous, yet he believed blacks deserved a position of equality in society, and recent DNA tests prove he had an affair and offspring with his house slave, Sally Hemings. The documentary brings Jefferson's words and ideas to life through dozens of his original handwritten letters, excerpts from his original manuscripts, deeds of slave manumission, period newspapers, his will, political cartoons, and every known image of Jefferson painted during his lifetime. A host of acclaimed performers lend their voices to the program, including Edward Herrmann, Sissy Spacek, Danny Glover and Robert Prosky. The readings complement interviews with noted historians including Pulitzer Prize-winner Gordon Wood, civil rights leader Julian Bond, former congresswoman Barbara Jordan, U.S. Civil Rights Commissioner Mary Frances Berry and many others.
Beautifully made... Casts an unblinking eye on Jefferson's often painful, contradictory and shifting views about race and slavery. --Charlottesville Daily Progress
Thoughtful...look at Jefferson's life, ideas, and career. --The New York Times
Scrupulously researched and carefully balanced. --The Associated Press