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In Search of Liberty Review by Linda RoseIC Liberty Films
At first glance, I thought this movie was going to be about how the Constitution was written. In reality, it is an overview of the Constitution in general and how it protects our rights as citizens. The overall theme of this movie is that our rights are important, and we need to fully understand the Constitution so that we can defend our freedoms.
In Search of Liberty is a feature length film with a run time of one hour and thirty five minutes. It can be purchased directly from the company's website. The cost will vary depending on which version you decide is best for your family—from $9.99 to rent the movie up to $22.95 to purchase the movie on a Blu-ray disc. Our family enjoyed watching this movie. We found that it was really pertinent to the current studies in our homeschool for everyone, ages 12 through 17. Naturally, it could cover some portion of a government curriculum for credit, but it is also appropriate to use when learning about American history.
The film begins with several shocking quotes. “Only one in 1,000 people could name the five freedoms guaranteed under the First Amendment.” The movie even states in the beginning that a major problem in the government system is that many of our elected officials have never even read the Constitution. This movie effectively asks, “What is the Constitution?” It also thoroughly answers this question.
The plot begins with the children in the Ellis family, Jennifer and Ryan, asking what the Constitution is. Mom and Dad, Lori and David, both admit that they have never read it, nor do they think it is important. That night, David has a strange dream about all of the past presidents taking the oath of office as they promise to “preserve, protect, and defend” the Constitution. The next day, he meets a strange character named Ben. Ben just so happens to look like Benjamin Franklin and is the main character who teaches the Ellis family the meaning and importance of the Constitution.
The movie takes place during Constitution Week. (From the Daughters of the American Revolution website, “Constitution Week is the commemoration of America's most important document. It is celebrated annually during the week of September 17-23.”) Charlene Murray, who also happens to be the grandma in the story, opens up a book store. The character, Ben, continues to show up in strange places and in mysterious ways. He eventually takes David on a journey to the past. He shows the important places and events that led up to the writing of the Constitution. Together Ben and David tour Runnymede, England, Athens, discuss the Magna Charta, and end up at Independence Hall in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. These two men tour several monuments giving David an accurate glimpse into the past.
At one point in the movie, the pre-amble to the Constitution is written across the screen. It was informative and interactive to be able to read along with the actors. It is at this point that Ben begins teaching the rest of the family about each one of the articles in the Constitution. Together the family travels across the country as they experience first-hand each the amendments. From being arrested without a warrant to peaceable protests to the right to bear arms, the family clearly understands each amendment and its importance.
The movie ends with the family riding a creepy roller coaster. During this ride, some of our currently elected officials are quoted saying several interesting statements.
“We have to pass the bill so we can find out what's in it.”
“Laws are written so that only lawyers can understand them.”
“Congress votes sight unseen.”
“The government will take care of everyone out of your pocket.”
At the end of the movie, the Ellis family along with Ben, celebrate Constitution Week by handing out copies of the Constitution. I know after this movie, my family will definitely be reading through the Constitution, a small portion at a time. This movie has helped us to understand the importance of knowing the amendments and how they protect us.
-Product review by Linda Rose, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, October, 2017