In this film director Kevin Meyer puts Irene Hunt's book Across Five Aprils to the big screen. Jethro Creighton (Todd Duffey) is a young man of nine years from Southern Illinois who is growing up during the outbreak of the American Civil War. Helping his father farm is all he really knows. This makes things difficult when his kin fights for the Union Army, as well as the Rebel cause. He doesn't know who what to do. Should he fight for the Yankees, the Rebs, or just continue working on the farm? He has a cousin who is a deserter which he helps with food and a blanket; this is a crime not taken lightly. He writes Abraham Lincoln for advice on the matter. The president responds in a letter which guides him some, but more or less provides him with comfort; when a nine year old is in the midst of war, what is more important? The central idea of this film, I believe, is to show how devastatingly a civil war can strike a family. This thought is expressed well throughout the film. Between the hatred brewing in a small town and deaths of loved ones all over the spectrum, it is clear what horrible things a war can do to a group of close knit folks in the nineteenth century. This film could be appreciated by some, but I feel that the vast majority of the audience would be too vain for it to appeal to them. Between the poor lighting, grainy visuals, and "shoty" acting I'd give Across Five Aprils a star and a half on production. As far as getting their point across, they did very well. Kevin Meyer did an excellent job of plunging into the heart of the audience and keeping them riveted.
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