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Mary Silliman's War 1994
Description: Mary Silliman's Fight is a unique, award-winning movie on the American Revolution.
Released: 11 May 1994 Director: Stephen Surjik Writers: Steven Schechter, Louisa Burns-Bisogno, Joy Day Buel (biography The Way of Duty), Richard Buel Jr. (biography The Way of Duty) Actors: Nancy Palk, Richard Donat, Diane D'Aquila, Paul Boretski Genres: Drama, War
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Mary Silliman's War Similar Movies

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Mary Silliman's War Reviews:

`Mary Silliman's War,' directed by Stephen Surjik, is the tale of an 18th century colonial girl who gets caught up in the political upheaval of America's war for independence from the British. Surprisingly, this movie very accurately depicts the environment of colonial Fresh England by including in the movie few aspects that were prevalent during the era in which colonial Americans began to act vs British taxation.During this time, many towns, including those in Mary Silliman's home of Fresh England, became split between supporters of colonial independence and British loyalists. However, there were some folks who felt no connection with either side of the revolutionary movement, but were still caught up in the violence and hardship of America's war for autonomy. These people, including the Quakers who did not trust in any sort of violent behavior, simply wanted to be left alone because they cared tiny about the complicated politics of the war. In fact, one such neutral colonial boy once quoted the phrase `a plague on both our houses.' Mary Silliman is a excellent example of one of these folks and her struggle throughout the film with both political officials and her fellow townspeople suggests that the lives of almost everyone in colonial America were affected some how whether you were a loyalist, a patriot, or neutral. The movie is also accurate in the method that it portrays the patriots' behavior towards neutral folks such as Mary Silliman. After her husband is taken hostage by a group of Tories, Mary Silliman starts a campaign to expedite the liberation of her husband. However, she is met with cold shoulders and turned heads as she attempts to persuade the governor to lessen the punishments of Tories to some how reduce tensions between the city and the British. Mary also attempts to gain some sort of peace of mind by talking to her local priest. However, when she asks the priest why God would take her husband from her, she is met with answers in the form of questions and irrational circular logic. She is basically said that she could agree the will of God because it is nice and holy. This behavior is exemplary of revolutionary America's notion of self preservation and the tendency to do what is greatest for the nice of the group rather than sacrificing for one person. The movie also hits the tag with the hero of Mary Silliman's slave, or servant as she likes to call him. When Mary Silliman's city finally got involved in the major fight effort, her slave expressed a powerful desire to enlist in the war. However, the fact that Mary Silliman seemed so understanding when he asked for permission to enlist is, perhaps, not the most accurate depiction of slave - owner relationships in the mid 18th century. Even more necessary is the fact that Mary's slave wanted to enlist on the American side of the war. Most slaves, 90% to be precise, ran away from their owners during the conflict to enlist with the British who promised freedom to all slaves who would help. Aside from the misrepresentation of slaves' roles in America's war for freedom, `Mary Silliman's War' is an accurate representation of the tense and sometimes violent case in the colonies during the conflict with Britain. Subtle elements such as the separation of genders in the church, the exclusion of girls from political matters, and even a stage in which one of the characters is shown as stricken with smallpox - a widespread epidemic during the time - create this movie a truthful acc of the life of colonial Americans during the time of Revolution.


Mary Silliman's Fight is far from a large budget TV film with a lot of star power and glamorous sets and costumes. But it is still in fact a very nice and accurate story. Mary's husband is taken by loyalists and Mary gotta take over their property. Along the method she receives support from Privateer Hawley, who supports her husband's return possible. Not overdone, but with some cheesy dialogue, I would suggest it to folks looking for a more accurate Revolutionary Fight tale.


A very historically accurate and interesting movie for those wishing to see the REAL side of the Revolutionary War, not the glamorized Patriot version. It shows the struggles of the women, and the average folks (both loyalists and patriots). This isn't rock 'em sock 'em action, so not a popcorn movie, but would be a helpful software for educators.



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