Tuesday, October 28, 2014

New Liberty Videos- Anthem for a Nation- TOS Review

New Liberty Videos is a company that produces unique videos, most with historical themes such as Dead Seas Scrolls, Warriors of Honor, and Origins.  We had the pleasure of receiving Anthem for a Nation to view and review recently. This video is intended for general audiences but does have some subject matter that may not be suitable for young children, such as abortion.  I would encourage you to use discretion when viewing it with your family.

Anthem for a Nation is a 42 minute video that first begins with a beautiful collage of scenery shots set to music.  Many scenes like New York City and the Statue of Liberty are quickly recognizable, while others are not.  My first thought was, wow, I wish we had been able to watch this video last year when we were studying American history.  The video then launches into some basic American history facts like the signing of the Declaration of Independence and why Ellis Island was important to our nation's history.  Again, included throughout are not only pictures and images from those time periods, but also video clips when appropriate.  Just seeing videos of people in lines at Ellis Island gave me chills.

It was at this point in the video that I felt like there was a switch in purpose.  While still using historical facts, the video began to focus on the Biblical background of our country rather than just your common history facts and figures.  This change did not bother me in the least, but for someone looking for a "school book" approach to history, this change is liable to bother them.

New Liberty Videos ReviewIn documentary style, the narrator points out the biblical background of the founding fathers and the constitution.  He mentions that prayer is allowed before government sessions, but not in school and then talks about the results of this lack of faith in the public sector.  Roe versus Wade is briefly discussed, including video clips of demonstrations.  It is done tastefully and though my 7 year old did not understand what that section was about, it was a long enough exposure for him to ask what they were doing with "all the red signs."

One of the things my 12 year old son and I found most interesting in the whole video was that the narrator pointed out that what he called the "epicenter of American government" in Washington DC were four buildings that made a cross when lines were drawn on a map to connect them- a lighthouse, the Capitol Building, the Washington Monument and the Jefferson Memorial.  Whether intentional or not, it was a neat picture to see.

My overall opinion of this video is that while it is done well and has beautiful quality, it is a little over dramatized.  When songs like "America, You are Too Young to Die" and Lee Greenwood's "God Bless the USA" began my oldest rolled his eyes.  We are probably more patriotic than your average US citizen but it seemed at that point the video took on more of a propaganda feel than one of American History being taught.

I will leave you with a quote from the video that struck a chord with me-

"America is great because America is good.  When America ceases to be good, it will cease to be great."

I have to wonder if we are not already on that downward slide.

You can purchase Anthem for a Nation and many other themed videos from New Liberty Videos for $19.95.  You can watch a video clip of it on Youtube to get a better feel of the movie.

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