One of the obsessive speculations in American history is whether Thomas Jefferson, in the years before he became president, had an affair with (and fathered a child with) his 15-year-old ...
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This fictionalized story, based on the family life of writer James Jones, is an emotionless slice-of-life story. Jones here is portrayed as Bill Willis, a former war hero and now successful... See full summary »
One of the obsessive speculations in American history is whether Thomas Jefferson, in the years before he became president, had an affair with (and fathered a child with) his 15-year-old slave Sally Hemings. JEFFERSON IN PARIS follows Jefferson to France (as the U.S. ambassador to the court of Louis XVI), following the death of his wife his friendships and flirtations with the French, his relationship with his daughters and slaves from home (especially Sally), against the backdrop of the beginning of the French Revolution. Written by
Michael C. Berch <email@example.com>
I watched this movie last night. Unbelievably, Channel 4 (tv channel here in the UK) scheduled it at 2.15am - right in the middle of the night! Who on earth is likely to watch it at that time? I just hope some people decided to record it & watch it later.
I think its a great film. I couldn't stop watching it. It gives you an insight into Thomas Jefferson and his personal life, and into the French society of the time. The film is also visually great.
But, as with any movie, it has its flaws. My main criticism is that it was too much like an historical documentary. It didn't have the courage to speculate more about the relationship between Jefferson and Sally (the black slave girl). Jefferson must - in real life - have displayed more emotion with the slave girl than is depicted in this film, especially behind closed doors. Yet we don't see it. We see Jefferson being more affectionate with his daughter (Jefferson hugs her at one point in the film), than with Sally the slave girl, and yet he is supposed to have been passionately involved with Sally & fathered her children. Therefore it has a documentary feel to it, without any fictional element, which leaves the viewer somewhat detached & disconnected.
But credit to the maker's for tackling the subject, and it's certainly made me interested in learning more about the man.
3 of 4 people found this review helpful.
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