Lincoln, a movie with scenes shot in Downtown Petersburg, came to theaters in mid-November. The movie started slowly with a personal interaction between Lincoln and African American Union soldiers and leaves much of the audience confused about the main direction of the movie. It was not until about halfway through that it becomes evident that the central focus is on getting the Thirteenth Amendment passed. This is in fact the main conflict of the story.
Even though the general population knows the outcome of the Civil War and the role President Lincoln played, the movie keeps the audience on the edge of their seat the entire time with hotly contested arguments about the passing of the Thirteenth Amendment.
Throughout the movie, it is very obvious to local Petersburg visitors and residents which scenes were filmed in Downtown Petersburg. The McIlwain House, the Farmers’ Market, the Union Train Station, and many other places are visible throughout the movie.
If you are interested in American history, this is a must-see film. For history fans, the running time of 2 1/2 hours seems very short, however for others it may seem a bit long.
Last Spring when Steven Spielberg and his crew were in Petersburg, TRN photographer Olivia Tritschler took pictures of the set.