2013, 94 minutes, b/w, U.S.A.
Indiana, 1817. The entire nation, only 40 years old and a few years removed from a second war of independence, is still raw. Men and women must battle against nature and disease to survive in log cabins. This is young Abraham Lincoln’s world. Spanning three years of the future president’s childhood, The Better Angels explores his family, the hardships that shaped him, the tragedy that marked him forever, and the two women who guided him to immortality.
Written and directed by A.J. Edwards, The Better Angels delves into visual and narrative poetry to express the Lincolns’ world. The stark wilderness they inhabit comes alive in stunning black-and-white cinematography, and the story follows the lyrical course of the characters, who struggle physically and emotionally. They are forced to take on new additions to the family, learning what acceptance and empathy really mean. With an elegant touch, Edwards shows the austerity of the era and reveals what shaped one of history’s most distinctive leaders.
Director: A.J. Edwards
Screenwriter: A.J. Edwards
Producers: Terrence Malick, Nicolas Gonda, Jake DeVito, Charley Beil
Executive Producers: Jason Krigsfeld, Joseph Krigsfeld, Suzanne Deal Booth, Antoine Douaihy
Co-producer: Elizabeth Lodge
Cinematographer: Matthew J. Lloyd CSC
Production Designer: Caroline Hanania
Editor: Alexander Richard Milan
Principal Cast: Jason Clarke, Diane Kruger, Brit Marling, Wes Bentley