From the beginning, Steven Spielberg was determined to steer his Abraham Lincoln movie clear of contemporary politics. He specifically requested a post Election Day release date so as not to be engulfed in the push and pull of the heated presidential race. “Lincoln today is beyond partisan politics,” Spielberg said recently. Indeed, the 16th president was the first Republican president, yet he’s frequently claimed by modern Democrats, as well, who view Lincoln’s freeing the slaves and the passing of the 13th Amendment as an essential part of the ongoing struggle for human rights and an essential milestone in a march that can be traced through women’s suffrage, the civil rights movement, and today’s debate over gay rights.
When Lincoln opens in select theaters on Friday (it opens nationally the following weekend), three days after American selects its next president, Spielberg hopes that it might contribute “some kind of soothing or even healing effect.” (“With malice towards none…” Lincoln famously said during his conciliatory second inaugural speech.) But Spielberg was wise to demand a post-election release, because the film will be inevitably interpreted through our modern political lens. READ FULL STORY