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The Siege of Fort William Henry

USA 2021
produced by
Erik Swanson for EKS Films
directed by Erik Swanson
starring the voices of Thierry Albert, Craig Bones, Ross Cawton, David Cichowicz, Luc De Villars, Jack Dixon, Rik Jones, Jacques Obadia, and in reenactment scenes: Eric Roberts (II), Brennen Nelson, Greg Whitney, Rob Frasier, Mitzy Bautista, Cody Van Buren, Dani Deroian, Erik Karl
written by Erik Swanson

documentary

review by
Mike Haberfelner

Fort William Henry hasn't been around for a great many years, it was built in 1755, towards the beginning of the French and Indian War (1754-1763) as a military encampment for the British troops at the Southern end of Lake George, New York, and was destroyed a mere two years later by the French and Native Americans after a long siege, when the fort's Lieutnant Colonel George Monro saw no more chance holding the fort, and brokered a peace with the French that would allow him and his men peaceful retreat to the next British garrison. Unfortunately, the French's Native American allies, who had been promised any spoils of war, saw themselves left out of the peace agreement and thus attacked the British on their retreat to get their reward for their travails in the employ of the French - something both the Brits and French would later describe as a massacre, also for propaganda reasons or to skip responsibility ...

 

A very engaging documentary that uses a mix of live action re-enactments and computer animation, with the occasional talking head interspersed, to tell its story, but the real treat here is extensive quotes from journals of those involved from both the British and French side of the conflict - while sadly leaving out the Native American side, which the film freely admits, as there don't seem to be any journals. But as it is, thanks to all these quotes, the film becomes a lively documentary bound to keep one interested even if history as such isn't one's thing.

On a sidenote, the siege of Fort William Henry also served as direct inspiration for James Fenimore Cooper's The Last of the Mohicans - which highly fictionalizes events of course.

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review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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