Copperhead is an upcoming independent film directed by Ronald F. Maxwell and stars Billy Campbell, Angus Macfadyen and Peter Fonda. This new drama is about the lives of an Upstate New York family torn apart during the American Civil War. Copperhead is based on the novel by Harold Frederic and has been praised to one of the few novels that emits courage and differs fundamentally from any other Civil War fiction. Check out the latest news for Copperhead below:
“Copperhead Hits All The Right Spot
The ideal Kauffman film would take a look at a side of history that is little known and rarely discussed. The lead character would be a dissenter, the holder of unpopular opinions who won’t bow to conformity. The major themes would be love of family, community before nation, and fealty to the Constitution. It would show how war rips asunder these values as brutally as it maims bodies and damages souls.
This is, indeed, the movie “Copperhead,” based on the 1893 novel, “The Copperhead,” by Utica-born Harold Frederic. The screenplay is by Batavia’s (and Elba’s) own Bill Kauffman.
A packed house at Genesee Community College’s Stuart Steiner Theater of Kauffman partisans — friends and family, mostly — viewed a special screening Thursday night of “Copperhead.” We applauded when Kauffman’s first film credit rolled across the screen and clapped again for his daughter, Gretel, whose credit was for one of the two “giggling girls” at a barn dance.
We also all applauded in appreciation as the final scene faded to black and credits for all the grips and technicians and wardrobe staff rolled across the screen.
It is a very good movie.
The story line — without trying to give away too much — is about a small Upstate New York farm community in 1862. The town is largely Republican with a view of the war in line with the Lincoln Administration.
Abner Beech opposes the war. He’s a Democrat. He’s no “slaver” he says, but he considers Lincoln’s war unlawful.
“It is Abraham Lincoln,” Beech tells Avery (played by Peter Fonda), “and his Republicans tearing us apart, and the Constitution. Closing down newspapers, putting critics in prison, enlisting mere boys to fight in his unconstitutional war.”
The scene is near the start of the film and Kauffman said during the Q&A after the screening that it’s a critical scene. It sets the themes of the entire movie.
Avery’s character wasn’t included in Frederic’s original novel, but Kauffman said one of the faults with the original story was it was rather one-sided in its point of view.
“He never gives the pro-Lincoln, the pro-war side a fair shake,” Kauffman said. “It’s only about Abner Beech and in the film we made the community more of a character, so I introduced the Fonda character to be an articulate advocate for that point of view.”
Near the end of the exchange, Avery says, “The union, Abner, doesn’t the union mean anything to you?”
The rest of the article can be read at The Batavian.
Copperhead is scheduled to be released in cinemas on June 28th 2013.
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