Monday, April 21, 2014

Documentary Review: The Mormon Rebellion: The American experience (1997)

This is a movie produced by The History Channel.  It talks about events of 1857 and 1858.  Their last movie I watched about a Mormon issue was not very good and very biased.  This movie, based on the title "The Mormon Rebellion" hints of the same continued bias. Growing up in Utah this is the Utah War, not the Mormon Rebellion.  As the movie indicated, the Mormons didn't even know they were in a war and tell some month after the troops were already headed to Utah.
In fact most of those interview (although not identified as such) I felt had a non Mormon bias.  The focus of the film was the Mountain Meadows Massacre.  I have never thought of this massacre as part of the Utah war; but is the focus here.  I guess that is because there really know deaths in the Utah War, while there were 120 in the massacre.
I would have been very interested in more about the prepared war.  It does saw Brigham Young called up 3000 men for the volunteer militia.  It mentions some raids on wagon trains which left the army hungry, and cold.  However it really doesn't explain how the 3000 men were to be used.  it does not talk about Brigham Young's scorched earth policy.  Nor does it mention the vacating of Salt Lake City while members traveled south.  It does not talk about people being at the ready to torch the town, if Johnstons's Army did not do as agreed and just march through town and then keep headed to Camp Floyd.  It doesn't even mention the Albert Sidney Johnson took over as the leader of the invading army.  They were able to enter Salt Lake City peacefully after a peace was negotiated.  However, if they hadn't been able to slow the army down, and they had entered Salt Lake Valley the year prior there would have been a great deal of bloodshed. 
The Mountain Meadows reconciliation shown at the end of the presentation I think saved this film, as it showed healing and moving on. 

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