Last night, my friend Dave Zohn, who is a communications major, helped me make a short documentary on the Civil War. Although it does look a bit amateurish, Rich Man’s War, Poor Man’s Fight: The Dead of the Civil War will still leave a feeling of sadness in you. Please check it out.
For the background music, I chose, “I Could Have Done More” by John Williams. The piece was lifted from Schindler’s List and there is not a more perfect sound that could go with the pictures on display. It is sad, beautiful, and haunting, all at the same time.
The images being displayed throughout the course of the video are very disturbing. Often times we see paintings, romanticizing the glory of battle, but very rarely do we see the actual battlefield photos of dead soldiers lying in the fields, days, even months after the battle. That is what this video is, a tribute to those dead soldiers whose memories are almost all but forgotten now.
Though this film only encompasses Antietam, Fredericksburg, and Gettysburg, there was no shortage of depressing photos to sift through. It is hard to imagine that all the blood shed in these three battles alone are only a mere fraction of the utter devastation seen in the four years of fighting.
I hope you will enjoy it, and see why the Civil War means so much to me.
Few movies are as depressing, or are as effective as Schindler’s List, directed by Steven Spielberg. The film stays with you long after you watch it, and a first time viewing is guaranteed to have you in tears by the end. The music used in this film plays a major part in that.
Aside from assembling an all-star cast, including Liam Neeson, Ben Kingsley, and Ralph Fiennes, Spielberg used John Williams, a composer who is arguably the greatest soundtrack music writer of our lifetime, to write the score. To play the violin in certain pieces, the famed Itzhak Perlman was there as well.
The main title gives a perfect example at what the music and mood would be throughout the film, but not one piece of music would be as haunting as Perlman’s play in Auschwitz-Birkenau. This is perhaps the most saddening scene in the movie, as the music is being played as a large group of women and young girls are calmly led to one of the gas chambers, and the doors are sealed.
This movie is one of my personal favorites, because of how well made it is, and because of how effective it is. When going through the school system, students are shown this film in one class or another, and some have seen it multiple times in class alone. I have seen it so many times that I have almost become de-sensitized to how sad it really is, but when I become a history teacher a few years from now, you can be sure I’ll be showing it in class, just like everyone else.
Other Films on this List
10. A Clockwork Orange
9. The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly