Antietam part of history series

April 04, 2006|by ANDREW SCHOTZ

A documentary on the Battle of Antietam in 1862 will be part of a 10-part series on The History Channel next week.

The series, called "10 Days That Unexpectedly Changed America," will run Sunday through Thursday.

The 60-minute Antietam segment will kick off the series on Sunday at 9 p.m.

The Hagerstown-Washington County Convention and Visitors Bureau is co-hosting an invitation-only world premiere of the documentary Saturday at 7:30 p.m. at the Antietam National Battlefield visitor center.

Antietam Partners, a nonprofit association at Antietam National Battlefield, also is a co-host.

"The series is comprised of 10 films, each created by a different award-winning documentary filmmaker or filmmaking team, spotlighting 10 historic events that triggered seismic shifts in America's political, cultural or social landscape," The History Channel's Web site says. "Using a range of storytelling techniques, including re-creations, animation, interviews, archival footage and historical artifacts, the series offers viewers a fresh perspective on well-known historical incidents while also shining a light on the tremendous impact of less- frequently cited events."


Other events covered in the series include the gold rush in 1848, the assassination of President McKinley in 1901, the Scopes monkey trial of 1925 and the aftermath of Elvis Presley's appearance on "The Ed Sullivan Show" in 1956.

A companion book on the series is scheduled to be released today, according to the Amazon Web site.

Michael Epstein, who has won Emmy and Peabody awards and has been nominated for an Oscar, directed the Antietam episode.

In a phone interview Monday, Tom Riford, the Convention and Visitors Bureau's president and chief executive officer, said a film crew was in Washington County last summer.

The first time was in June, for a little more than a week, to interview historians and scout film sites.

The second time was for two weeks in August to film scenes.

Riford said the documentary re-creates scenes that led to Alexander Gordon's famous photographs of dead soldiers and explores other significant aspects of the Civil War battle.

A Convention and Visitors Bureau news release quotes Epstein as saying, "What I wanted to do was bring a new visual language to re-enactments. It was important that the pieces of the battle we re-enacted look (accurate for the) period not just in the costumes and set design, but in the photographic medium as well. In this way, our film would never lose its sense of place and time."

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