Gone With the Wind and Glory are two sides of the same coin in the civil war history of the United States. Well, not really. One of them is a story that glorified slavery in some way, or at best treated it like just another part of life. The other was a feature on a real life event of an attempt to resolve the institution of slavery among other political differences in the country.

Gone with the Wind is a beautiful story of love, gallantry, bravery and honour. Bella loved Rhett, but Rhett loved Scarlett. Scarlett however loved Ashley, and Ashley loved his wife. Scarlett never got over her love until it was too late. A very moving ending to a story that spanned the period of the American civil war.

Glory is a moving story of honour, bravery, pride and a tragic military campaign of the first “coloured” regiment of the Union army in an attempt to take over the confederate Fort Wagner. Brilliantly told, the true life story never failed to rouse emotion at very memorable intervals. And Denzel Washington won his Academy Award as a supporting actor.

I can’t explain why I have been watching movies about the American Civil War in the past days, but I can say that it’s been worth it. It is filling a few gaps in my history lesson. And it raises a few questions too, why it was important to black men to enlist in the Union army to fight the confederates when all they would get was death, or at best a chance to kill. And how those capable of keeping slaves in servitude and fighting to entrench the evil system could be capable of gallantry, honour and love. Gone With The Wind manages to elicit my empathy for the Old South, and Glory managed to arouse my anger at slavery, war, and inequality. And all I learnt at the end of watching them both is the power of stories.

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