Directed by Jim Finn • Documentary • 2020 • 61 minutes
For four years in the 1860’s half of the United States was held hostage by an unrecognized white supremacist republic. Shot on 16mm in national military parks, swamps, forests and the suburban sprawl across the former battlefields, the film follows General Grant’s path liberating the southern United States. It focuses not only on his battles but on massacres committed by Confederate armies and the role of enslaved people in the war. With additional illustrations and animations from hex & counter wargames and bubblegum cards that were popular after the Centennial Anniversary of the Civil War, the film features original music created by longtime collaborator Colleen Burke.
"Surveying the legacy of the Civil War through the strange remnants that linger in American society, The Annotated Field Guide Of Ulysses S. Grant is an essay film with bite, understatedly but convincingly arguing that the Confederacy’s great shame has yet to be expunged from the national consciousness. Filmmaker Jim Finn details the journey US General Ulysses S. Grant underwent to systematically crush the Confederate army, but this isn’t a documentary about military tactics. Rather, Finn photographs the war’s most famous battlefields as they appear now, as well as explores the odd ways that the country has memorialised the conflict, including through boardgames and bubblegum cards. Told in nine chapters and a damning coda, The Annotated Field Guide may initially seem playful, but the seriousness of purpose becomes evident soon enough...." —Screen Daily