The Conspirator

For my mom’s Mother’s Day festivities, we went to see The Conspirator on Friday afternoon.

For those who don’t know, it’s a movie directed by Robert Redford about the events and conspiracy surrounding the assassination of Abraham Lincoln. It’s mainly centered around Mary Surratt, the only woman tried in the case and ultimately the first woman executed by the United States, and her lawyer, Fredrick Aiken. The conflict was amazing in the movie. Aiken was a Union soldier defending a Southern woman in Surratt. Mary was fighting for her innocence while trying to hide her son’s guilt. It even stirs emotion in the viewer, as you’re essentially rooting against your own country and it’s logic for handling the situation by the time the story wraps up.

It was a very well done movie. It just might not be for everyone, as it’s long and drawn out towards the end. Rotten Tomatoes hit the nail on the head: “The Conspirator is well cast and tells a worthy story, but many viewers will lack the patience for Redford’s deliberate, stagebound approach”

It really made me think about two things.

First, the country’s current international affairs and debates on where to draw the ethical lines are a hot topic given the recent take down of Osama bin Laden. My mom and step dad mentioned to me that the movie is Redford’s artistic stance of making a point about the individuals held in Guantanamo Bay. It’s an issue because Mary Surratt (and all of the conspirators with the exception of John Surratt who was tried over two years later) were tried before a military commission instead of in civilian court because of the nature of the crime and it being during a war time. If that is indeed Mr. Redford’s point, I can’t completely agree given that the people in question in the movie were American citizens and the detainees in Guantanamo Bay are not (among other reasons). However, I don’t think that debate will catch on with most people. I like to pride myself on being fairly up to date on politics and current events. And I didn’t make the connection for the movie being a political stance against the Guantanamo Bay situation. So I can’t imagine that the everyday American who cares more about American Idol than Libya will make that connection, much less knows where Gitmo is.

The second thing it triggered in my head was realizing how much I had actually learned on my trip just from tidbits here and there without any intention. Granted, Lincoln was a HUGE fixture of stops on the last leg of my trip. Between:

I think I know a thing or two about Lincoln! It’s astonishing how much was accomplished under his time in office. And how big of a turning point he was for our country. He’s easily one of the top five Presidents, if not Americans, to be a part of our country’s history.

It also made me miss traveling. So much so that I want to schedule a trip. I’m really thinking about San Diego because I didn’t see it on my rounds through the states and it’s known to have a good zoo. It’s been awhile since I’ve had a day full of animals. I’ve got a friend out there but she’s being stubborn. So it might not be too terribly long before I just buy a plane ticket and go play on the West Coast for an extended weekend.

Any takers want to go?!

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