* PBS seeded the project, then ran away.
* The History Channel said "no thanks" to a broadcast of the film.
* Wilmott's film is reacting to battle books and - if I read him right - Centennial history.
As early as age 12, a young Unionist (myself) was repelled by the dual standard in Centennial history - its willingness to take sides in the war on moral grounds (Union side) while adulating Rebel leaders on a technocratic and plot-driven basis (go underdogs!). The modern reader enjoying these old Unionist authors is as burdened with ethical and moral issues as certain die-hard Southrons. Nor are the Wilmotts free and clear, as long as they require acknowledgement of the supremacy of slavery as a driver of that war while avoiding the core experience of massive white rebellion.
Myself, I'm free and clear of moral and ethical burdens. (Regular readers will agree that it goes without saying.)
... the discussions we've had have just been incredible. People have made all kinds of different connections to the film. It just opens people up to a whole host of issues and ideas.That he needed to finally give the history of America from this other point of view is another stain on the failure that has been Civil War history. The proposition that this other point of view might trump all comers, however is a conceit.
... those people that watch the History Channel, a lot of them are those battlefield memory people. They watch those documentaries about the Civil War and they don't want to talk about the causes because that's no fun.
... you can't look at Gone with the Wind and just get caught up in the romance.
I didn't want to give a battlefield kind of history of all this, about Generals and how that would have turned out. I think that's actually part of the problem with the Civil War in America, that people love to talk about the battles but they hate talking about slavery. But slavery is the thing that still defines us today in America. It defines our understanding of race still in America. We still understand each other based in a lot of weird concepts left over from slavery.
... if you honestly look at history, and you read books outside of battlefield books, you quickly find out that it was all about slavery. So that's really the chief reason I wanted to make the film, to finally give the history of America from this other point of view.
This courtesy your expert on conceits...