Tag Archives: Expectations

Expectations – Patriotic, Christian and Rogue

One follower of our project, writes:

..I was expecting a video which told me more about early America and our Founding Fathers, before, during and after the American Revolution, and not this type of story. I look forward to your other upcoming productions and hope that you will give us true historic stories of our early beginnings…

She was upset, in other words, that the story was about a bastardy trial.  That’s how you decode the line “this type of story.”   I explained to her that John Adams tried a number of these cases before he became “John Adams” and that the founders were deeply ensconced in a legal system that placed high value on intact families, which would explain the “before” in the request for stories about “before, during, and after the American Revolution.”

I didn’t take the time, of course, to explain the story included references to the Boston Massacre, British deserter patrols, the system of tavern justice in New England, references to the Biblical roots of colonial justice, and the overtly religious language used by the plaintiff’s attorney (which was taken, literally, from the Boston Massacre trial opening statements.)   I didn’t take the time to point out the accuracy of the clothing, the stone walls, the 18th century hay cart taken from a Williamsburg pattern.  I didn’t explain any of that  because I suspected that no matter how long I explained the matter she wanted a story that would make her feel, every five minutes, as though cymbals were crashing and drums beating and a dozen fifers were playing “Road to Boston.”   She wanted the national anthem playing softly under each patriot’s dialogue and she wanted to see Alexander Hamilton speaking of sacrifice as he looked out the window at sounds of battle upon a distant horizon.  She certainly didn’t want anything as messy as a “bastardy trial.”  She didn’t want “that type of story.”

She wanted, in other words, what has cursed nearly every story about the American Revolution since they hashed out the size of 35mm film — a story so focused on events that we can’t see the people themselves. Continue Reading »

Posted in History, Learning from the Past, Production | Tagged , , , , | 3 Comments