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Connecticut Congressman Criticizes 'Lincoln' for Historical Inaccuracies

February 7, 2013 (7:03 am) GMT
Joe Courtney alleges that the film depicts his home state in a negative light with a scene that features two Connecticut congressmen voted against the 13th amendment.
Connecticut Congressman Criticizes 'Lincoln' for Historical Inaccuracies

Apparently not everyone is impressed with Steven Spielberg's "". Connecticut congressman, Joe Courtney, was not happy after discovering a historical inaccuracy in the Oscar-nominated drama about President Abraham Lincoln. He alleged that the movie depicted his home state in a negative point of view.

To The Associated Press, Courtney admitted that he was shocked when watching a scene that featured two Connecticut congressmen voting against the 13th amendment to outlaw slavery. "Wow. 'Connecticut voted against abolishing slavery?' " Courtney said, recalling the audience reaction he heard when watching the film. "I obviously had the same reaction. It was really bugging me."

Courtney then decided to do some fact checks on the Internet, and found that all four Connecticut congressmen had, in fact, voted for the amendment to end slavery in 1865. Feeling disappointed by the way the movie depicted his home state, Courtney sent a letter to Spielberg. He asked the filmmaker to correct the movie before it gets released on DVD.

"In many movies, including your own 'E.T.' and 'Gremlins,' for example, suspending disbelief is part of the cinematic experience and is critical to enjoying the film," Courtney wrote in his letter sent on Tuesday, February 5. "But in a movie based on significant real-life events - particularly a movie about a seminal moment in American history so closely associated with Doris Kearns Goodwin and her book, 'Team of Rivals' - accuracy is paramount."

"How could congressmen from Connecticut - a state that supported President Lincoln and lost thousands of her sons fighting against slavery on the Union side of the Civil War - have been on the wrong side of history?" the congressman said in his letter.

Courtney added, as quoted by Hartford Courant, that "placing the State of Connecticut on the wrong side of the historic and divisive fight over slavery is a distortion of easily verifiable facts." He stated, "Who knows, maybe when they do a DVD of the movie there will be some notation of the clear mistake."

Still, he managed to sing praises for the film, gushing that the portrayal of major characters in it was "brilliant." He went, "It's important that people be aware who saw this movie that we were a state that lost soldiers, were staunch supporters of Lincoln in both elections, and in the case of the Democrat from New Haven, actually voted against his party in support of the amendment. The state's good name, I personally feel, was tarnished a bit."

"Lincoln" is nominated in 12 categories at the upcoming 85th Academy Awards. They include the coveted Best Picture, Best Director for Spielberg, Best Actor for , Best Supporting Actor for , and Best Supporting Actress for .

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