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Byron Shire
March 3, 2021


Latest News

Forum to address housing emergency, March 8

A grassroots movement is bringing women, community and art together on International Women’s Day (March 8) in an urgent push to solve the local housing emergency. 

Other News

Cartoon of the week – 3 March, 2021

We love to receive letters, but not every letter will be published; the publication of letters is at the discretion of the online and print letters editors.

‘The Great Reset’

Gary Opit, Wooyung I appreciated the letter by Lucas Wright (17 February) on the Great Reset conspiracy fantasy. With our...

Suffolk Park pump track for Cavanbah

Kathy Gleeson, Suffolk Park When I first heard of, and supported, the pump track at the Linda Vidler Park in Suffolk...

PM forced

Narelle Rendalls, Ballina With reference to the recent serious sexual assault allegations in Canberra, our Prime Minister has a lot to...

Resilience through biodiversity and awareness

The Byron Shire Resilience and Regeneration Roadshow will be in Brunswick Heads this Saturday, as part of a series of events across the region tackling the question: ‘How do we create more resilient communities in 2021?’

Bringing down the heat in our ‘hood

How well we survive the future depends on our vision for our towns and suburbs – and on how we bring that vision about.


Film review by John Campbell

I visited the Lincoln Memorial soon after 9/11. It struck me as a living, ‘working’ temple, providing tangible succour to those unloved Americans who came to it. Engraved in marble is Abraham Lincoln’s famous Gettysburg Address. Enunciating with rare eloquence the ideals that the Republic espoused (it is a masterpiece of plain English), the words are recited by some young soldiers at the very beginning of Stephen Spielberg’s admirable and admiring film of the sixteenth president’s protracted legislative battle to ban slavery in the US.

The introductory scene is the sort of cheesy set-up that Spielberg excels at and, for me, it was the most profoundly moving moment in an engrossing but strangely dry movie. Perhaps because he was in awe of his subject and fearful of making light of the topic (Tarantino’s Django Unchained is a cartoon), Spielberg has disavowed his instinctive showiness to the point of erring on the side of caution. The emphasis is squarely on the wheeling and dealing that needed to be done in Washington for Lincoln’s controversial amendment to the constitution to be enacted as law – politics, it becomes blindingly self-evident, is the art of achieving what is possible, by whatever means. And all the while the horrendous slaughter of the Civil War, in its fourth bloody year, is threatening to compromise the efforts of Lincoln and his supporters.

Wordy, one-paced and at times needlessly repetitive, the story is nonetheless faithful to the mechanisms involved in what we now refer to as ‘realpolitik’, as the votes of waverers on either side of the house are secured by back-room lobbyists. In pre-production, doubt was raised over Daniel Day-Lewis’s voice and whether it had the stentorian quality associated with the great man – it doesn’t, but it doesn’t matter. If anything, his lighter delivery brings Lincoln back to Earth and assists Spielberg in averting the trap of hagiography, an all-too-common failure of big-budget Hollywood history. This Lincoln, though high minded and folksy, is a stern pragmatist.

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