Please join us for Spiritual Cinema this Friday, May 10 at 7:00 PM. We will watch the motion picture, “Glory” (1998). The movie is 122 minutes and will be followed by a short discussion of some of the topics raised by the movie. This month we will be screening the movie at the church. Please RSVP to Dan at [email protected].
Robert Gould Shaw came from a strong Unitarian family and is a strong example of a man who lived his ideals. He was an abolitionist who volunteered to lead an all african-american military unit, the Fifty-fourth Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry Regiment, during the US Civil War. He gave his life to his country to secure equal rights for all people regardless of race. The movie is very moving and inspiring.
One of the finest films ever made about the American Civil War, Glory also has the honor of being the first major Hollywood film to acknowledge the vital contribution of African American soldiers to the country’s historic struggle. Based on the books Lay This Laurel, by Lincoln Kirstein, and One Gallant Rush, by Peter Burchard, and the wartime letters of Robert Gould Shaw, the film tells the story of the 54th Regiment of the Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry, an all-black unit comprising Northern freemen and escaped slaves. Under the command of Shaw (played by Matthew Broderick), the 54th served admirably in battle until they made their ultimate demonstration of bravery during the almost suicidal assault on the Confederate Fort Wagner in Charleston, South Carolina, on July 18, 1863. Glory achieves its powerful impact by meticulously setting up the terrible conditions under which these neglected soldiers fought, and by illuminating the tenacity of the human spirit from the oppression of slavery to the hard-won recognition of battlefield heroism. Although Denzel Washington deservedly won an Oscar for his supporting role as a runaway-slave-turned-soldier, Glory faced some tough competition at the 1989 Academy Awards (against popular hits like Driving Miss Daisy and Dead Poets Society) and was shut out of nearly all the major categories. Since then, it’s been duly recognized by historians and critics as a classic film of its genre. –Jeff Shannon