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An exuberant documentary about the American Revolution, featuring military re-enactments and dramatic performances by Roger Rees, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Victor Garber, & Donna Murphy. Chapters include the Reluctant Revolutionaries, Blows Must Decide, The Times That Try Men's Souls, Oh, Fatal Ambiton, The World Turned Upside Down, & Are We to Be A Nation?
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Looking for an overview of the American Revolution akin to Ken Burns's The Civil War? Look no further! Liberty! The American Revolution successfully takes a unique, detailed peek into the 25 years of events that led to the establishment of the United States of America. The British are not painted as rigid "bad guys," nor the colonists as the rebellious "good guys." Instead, it correlates the complicated struggle between Britain and the American colonies to a stern mother and her teenage child longing for independence. Beginning after the French and Indian War (1763), Liberty! kicks off with the issue of taxation, the colonies' revolt, a declaration of independence, war with the British, eventual victory, and the establishment of a country and constitution unlike any in the history of mankind. The men and women involved are portrayed by actors and actresses reciting original documents, letters, and articles from the times. Well-edited, these soliloquies create an interesting feeling of conversation and continuity, almost as though you are getting a firsthand account of the events as they unravel. Though there are good battle descriptions (particularly Gen. Washington crossing the Delaware, Gen. Burgoyne at Saratoga, and Cornwallis at the Battle of Yorktown), the emphasis of Liberty! is on policy, events leading to war, deteriorating relationships, and ongoing governing challenges rather then actual military strategy. Nonetheless, this documentary is as exciting and interesting as any historical movie you will likely see, and a lot more accurate. --Rob Bracco
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