Warriors of Honor (product review)

When I first found out that the Schoolhouse Review Crew would have the chance to review some DVDs from New Liberty Videos, I wasn’t too mussed. We don’t have a TV or a traditional DVD player (just the DVD ROM on the computer), so I didn’t intend to request this product. But then I saw the actual list of films that would be offered, and when I saw Warriors of Honor ($19.95 for a physical DVD) on that list, I had strong suspicions that Will and the boys would be really interested. You see, it’s a film about the Christian faith of two Confederate generals – Robert E. Lee and Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson. My boys (and man!) are big history buffs, and the Civil War is one that fascinates them all, so I went ahead and requested this movie after all.

I knew from the beginning that Will and I would watch this first, before we showed it to the boys. I didn’t think there would be anything objectionable in it (how could there be, what with the topic?), but I wanted to be sure. To date, we haven’t shown it to them yet. We’re still processing the film and deciding whether we want to show it to them. You see, while not objectionable per se, the film is definitely not unbiased. We could tell in the first two minutes that the film was going to be a Confederacy-sympathetic one, and we were right. I’m not saying that that’s good or bad, just that we want to think a little more before we show the boys something so clearly biased – at least at their current ages. That said, there was nothing in this film that would be difficult for them to understand, therefore making it suitable for a general audience. It has not been rated by the MPAA, however.

The film is mostly narration over the top of still photographs of the people they’re talking about. There are actual photos of Stonewall Jackson, Robert E. Lee, their wives, and a myriad of other Civil War figures as well as places. That was really neat to see. When it’s not still photos, we’re shown Civil War reenactments. The way it’s laid out is simply a walk through of the war. We’re told about the different battles and how Jackson and Lee prepared, fought, and reacted to said battles. The film moves chronologically through the Civil War, putting special emphasis on the Christian faith of the two men. It goes nice and slow, offering lots of details until Gettysburg. When we get to Gettysburg, it feels like it almost “skips” the rest of the war and rushes us into the signing of the surrender. I suppose that makes sense, since it’s a documentary of the lives of Jackson and Lee, and after Gettysburg Jackson is dead (he died before Gettysburg, actually) and Lee starts losing.

Ultimately, I felt that this film did a good job diving into the depths of who these two men were, beyond just their position as military generals. Will and I were already moderately familiar with Civil War history (he much more than I!), so the way the individual battles went weren’t exactly a surprise to us, but it was neat to see how these two important men allowed their faith to guide their lives.