THE PLOT THUS FAR
American Experience: The Abolitionists. Radicals. Agitators. Troublemakers. Liberators. Called many names, the abolitionists tore the nation apart in order to create a more perfect union. Men and women, black and white, Northerners and Southerners, poor and wealthy-these passionate anti-slavery activists fought body and soul in the most important civil rights crusade in American history. What began as a pacifist movement fueled by persuasion and prayer became a fiery and furious struggle that forever changed the nation. Bringing to life the intertwined stories of Frederick Douglass, William Lloyd Garrison, Angelina Grimk, Harriet Beecher Stowe, and John Brown, The Abolitionists takes place during some of the most violent and contentious decades in American history. It reveals how the movement shaped history by exposing the fatal flaw of a republic founded on liberty for some and bondage for others. In the face of personal risks-beatings, imprisonment, even death-abolitionists held fast to their cause, laying the civil rights groundwork for the future and raising weighty constitutional and moral questions that are still with us today. Directed by Rob Rapley, The Abolitionists interweaves drama with traditional documentary storytelling, and stars Richard Brooks, Neal Huff, Jeanine Serralles, Kate Lyn Sheil, and T. Ryder Smith, vividly bringing to life the epic struggles of the men and women who ended slavery.
WHAT WE THOUGHT
“The Abolitionists” is a solid three part documentary that shows us the diplomatic, philosophical and political aspects of the battle to eliminate slavery in America. By toying with traditional documentary formats to create a historical reproduction, PBS dares to tread into History Channel territory. But, they pull it back into proper respect like only public television can do. Douglass and Garrison’s interactions carry the material, but we know how it’s going to turn out. What’s important is learning the steps as to how we got there as a nation.
The DVD comes with no special features. The A/V Quality is pretty sharp for standard definition. However, there are minor moments of digital noise. The Dolby track supports the dialogue and that’s all that matters for an important documentary like this. In the end, I’d recommend a purchase.
RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW!