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The Battle of Bunker Hill DVD Review by Tony Silva

Tony Malanowski
Light a Candle Films, L.L.C.
1464 Madera Road #N, Suite #221
Simi Valley, Ca. 93065

The Battle of Bunker Hill is a combination of docudrama film and historical narratives that can enhance your study of the American Revolution. The first in a series titled America: Her People, Her Stories, this DVD explains the events that led up to the Battle of Bunker Hill and its significance in building confidence among Colonials that they could face the British forces and defend their liberty.

The DVD, which sells for $19.99, is divided into two distinct parts, the first being a narrated drama about two men and their sons' involvement in the battle. The Battle of Bunker Hill captures the sentiments and courageous choices Colonials had to make at that point in our nation's history. Explanations from various historians of the events depicted in the drama give perspective and clarity to the events, and thus it becomes more of an educational tool than entertainment for those who love great historical drama.

While the acting is not on par with major motion picture productions, the overall quality of the dramatic portions is good. Battle scenes have the aura of a re-enactment, and the credits list an army of interpreters who appeared in these scenes. The scale and distance shown in this movie may surprise many used to the grand battle scenes in epic movies. This drama reinforces the concepts of courage, conviction, and commitment necessary when the defense of liberty comes to military confrontation. Out-gunned and out-numbered, the Colonials stood their ground through multiple attacks, retreating only after running out of ammunition. While the battle was lost at Bunker Hill, many historians point to this event as the point at which the Colonials won the Revolutionary War, if only because this is where their resolve was seriously tested for the first time. More importantly, the British never again attacked the Americans when they were dug in and reinforced.

The second part of the DVD covers the events depicted in the movie from the perspective of their historical significance. Interesting facts and little-known detail come to light as historians explain the period and culture surrounding the Revolution. These are well worth watching. The special features are also worth a look--particularly the Ronald Reagan farewell address. Though it seemed out of place in a docudrama, it is an important supplement to a historical study of the American character; the speech focused on America's character and continuing pursuit of liberty.

In addition to the DVD itself, Light a Candle Films has made available a full-sized poster promoting the film and a series of lobby cards similar to those displayed at theaters in days gone by. These can be used to reinforce the storyline or to promote interest in the video, whether shown at home or in a homeschool co-op setting. There is no other curriculum associated with the video. Both the poster and the lobby cards can be purchased at the company's website, The site also features links to resources used in the film, including the featured historians and others who contributed their time and talent to the production.

Product review by Tony Silva, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, September 2010