"Abraham Lincoln", a certain idea of America
"The greatest measure of the nineteenth century, obtained by corruption, with the complicity of the most upright man in America. This replica, loaned by the scriptwriter Tony Kushner to Thaddeus Stevens (1792-1868), a very influential member of the House of Representatives during the American Civil War, sums up the words of the film that Steven Spielberg devotes to the 16th President of the United States, Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865).
Seeking for a long time to evoke the fate of this key character in American history, the director of Amistad (released in 1998) finally relied on the biography that the historian Doris Kearns Goodwin devoted to him in 2005 (1) . Initially embodied in an impracticable 500-page scenario, the project gradually refocused on a very short - but essential - period of Lincoln's life: the month of January 1865, when the 13th amendment to the American Constitution abolishing the slavery was voted by the Washington House of Representatives,