Oh history, how I love thee!
Weird, I know, but I'm a total history nerd. That's because history is really just a bunch of stories, and TRUE stories are so inspirational. Human nature never changes, though the way we eat, dress or talk might. The more we learn of the past, the less likely we are to make the same mistakes. We also have the added benefit of learning from great minds, great hearts and great do-ers who have made a positive difference in the lives we live now. These people make me want to be better and the more I study them, they become friends who affect me and rub off on me. We become who we hang out with--even if we've never met them. :)
Enter this movie, Gettysburg. Yes, history buffs will enjoy this. But this is more than a movie about a battle. It is about the friendships between the generals on both sides. It makes us ask the question: "Who is my enemy, and why?" It also introduces us to incredible men and the lessons we can learn from them.
-Men like Chamberlain, who, when his men run out of ammunition, determinedly orders a bayonet attack because they are the end of the line and must not fall.
-The price of being irresponsible and not communicating well when Jeb Stuart fails the Confederate Army.
-Buford, a man of vision and exceptional hard work, who essentially won the battle before it was fought because of his preparations.
-and many, many others--on both sides--whose dedication and sacrifice for what they believed in touch our hearts and make us ask of ourselves "What can I give?" and "What would I do?"
Additionally, the soundtrack to this movie is epic and will stir your soul. This movie is fabulous, humanizes both sides and is a bit tamer than most war movies. (Honest disclaimer: Martin Sheen is not my favorite Robert E. Lee.)
*Note: as always, please check the content of this and other movies at www.commonsensemedia.org or kids-in-mind.com before you watch it to make sure you feel it is appropriate for your family.
-How did all of the generals know each other?
-What causes men to pick up guns and kill each other?
-It is possible to like your enemy?
-How does humanizing the other side change things?
-How did Chamberlain's respectful treatment of the mutineers change the tide of the battle?
-How do true leaders accept responsibility, praise and blame?
-Who did you admire most in this movie?
-What would you do if forced to choose between obeying orders and fighting against friends?
Community Question: Who has the best facial hair in the movie? ;)
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