The American Film, Glory of 1989, is based on the actual historical story, of the 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry, seen through the eyes of the commanding officer Gould Shaw who was a white officer during the American Civil War. The story is told by Kevin Jarre the author of Glory who was walking in Boston and came across a Civil war memorial, and this became the inspiration forGlory. The war was characterized by both white and black soldiers.
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The officers were the white while the African Americans were the soldiers. The central theme as I observed in the film is racism and discrimination and biases attitude from the whites towards their fellow black soldiers. Amongst these officers, Colonel Shaw was unlike his fellows who were racist and devoted most of the time training the African-Americans how to fight restlessly in the civil war. The blacks were more than determined to fight for their country and more so against injustices. The whites doubted or didn’t believe in the blacks making good soldiers or submitting to the discipline of the war, but the likes of Fredrick Douglas believed in the chance of winning for the black regiment. The Glory therefore openly exposed different and multiple aspects of civil war as it occurred. It displayed the cruel realities that the soldiers went through during the war. The film also revealed how man to man fights was brutal and barbaric as practiced during the civil war. For instance, the 54th exposed one of the bloodiest action in the war which was an uphill attack in a muddy terrain running against a Confederate fort in Charleston. This attack was somewhat suicidal having the battlefield strategies involving the black troops being disciplined by matching into the contemptuous fire. The 54th soldier remained strong enough as well as disciplined till the end of civil war. In my opinion, the purpose of Glory was to expose the victory and courage of the soldiers in the war who fought against racism, prejudice and discrimination and later achieved their goals. Although the back regiment was unskilled, they gave their best to provide the Norths with a victory on proving to be real heroes.
Watching “Glory”, I am convinced that the director Edward Zwick, brings outs a lot of lessons that we can draw from the movie. It gives a clear historical description of the experience of the soldiers in the war. Racism had been a real challenge that the blacks faced, and he brings out this aspect in the film.
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