American Experience (1988– )
8.2/10
111
5 user 2 critic

Death and the Civil War 

Based on the best-selling book by Drew Gilpin Faust, this film will explore how the American Civil War created a "republic of suffering" and will chart the far-reaching social, political, ... See full summary »

Director:

Ric Burns
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Cast

Episode credited cast:
James Cromwell
Keith David
Josh Hamilton
Gene Jones
Robert Sean Leonard
Amy Madigan
Elizabeth Marvel
Aleksa Palladino
Oliver Platt ... Himself / Narrator
Stark Sands
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Storyline

Based on the best-selling book by Drew Gilpin Faust, this film will explore how the American Civil War created a "republic of suffering" and will chart the far-reaching social, political, and social changes brought about by the pervasive presence and fear of death during the Civil War. Written by Anonymous

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Details

Language:

English

Release Date:

12 September 2012 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

WGBH See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Stereo

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

16:9 HD
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User Reviews

 
Good but not quite what I expected.
8 January 2016 | by MartinHaferSee all my reviews

Like all episodes of "The American Experience", this one is a quality show in every way. This Ric Burns show is very similar in style to his brother's famous Civil War series and would actually make a nice addendum to the shows. However, for me, the show didn't go where I hoped it would have gone--mostly because I've seen other shows which went very different directions than this one even though it is the same subject matter. Some of the other Civil War documentaries about death and bodies talked about grisly and VERY capitalistic system of entrepreneurs who started combing the battlefields for bodies that looked like they came from rich families. They would embalm the bodies and basically hold them for ransom until they located the rich families and got them to pay for the corpses! Sometimes, and this is the creepy part I enjoyed, some times different embalming companies would fight over bodies-- particularly if it was a rich looking dead officer!!

Instead, this show was focused more on the practical problem of figuring out what to do with the bodies, how the federal government should take care of this, the birth of American nursing as well as re-internment programs. All of it is interesting...and well worth seeing.

By the way, I did spot one mistake in the show. It said that no one died at the Battle of Ft. Sumter. Well, actually following the battle, two Union men was accidentally blown up when they were firing the required salute to end the battle!


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