'Civil War' documentary, partially filmed in Chattanooga, premieres Sunday on MSNBC

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Oct. 23—A Civil War documentary that includes perspectives from several Chattanooga-area residents will premiere Sunday on MSNBC.

For "The Civil War (or, Who Do We Think We Are)," Emmy-nominated director Rachel Boynton visited classrooms around the nation to see how the war is taught.

Her stop in Chattanooga features Chris Carpenter's Civil War classes at McCallie School, historian and educator LaFrederick Thirkill, the caretakers of Chattanooga Confederate Cemetery and Chattanooga Connected, a group of community leaders dedicated to intentionally breaking down racial barriers.

Franklin McCallie, a co-founder of Chattanooga Connected, said he's proud of Boynton's effort to shed light on "a major thorn in the side of our nation." The film, he said, should get people talking "rationally and with the hope of healing."

McCallie was among those who first saw the film in a screening at the Tivoli Theatre earlier this month.

"I feel this film could make a difference," he said. "She has the liberal side, the very conservative side, and she has shown the depth of feeling of those who have not left the Confederacy behind, who have not left the Civil War behind" more than a century and a half later.

In a review, film critic Matt Zoller Seitz said the movie will be of "particular interest to students who want a lively, thoughtful presentation of basic historical subjects but aren't going to get it in classrooms where the curriculum is approved by people who are mainly concerned with avoiding discomfort and preserving the status quo."

The film, which has a run time of 1 hour and 40 minutes, will debut at 10 p.m. on MSNBC. It is also streaming on Peacock.

Contact Lisa Denton at ldenton@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6281.

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