San Patricios in Defense of Human Life
Joseph P. Tevington | 03/02/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"While Tom Berenger's brogue leaves much to be desired, this is a fascinating slice of history....
Nearly 1600 years ago, Saint Patrick arrived in Ireland, to meet a "people who still practiced human sacrifice, who warred with each other constantly and who were renowned as the great slave traders of the day" (Anita McSorley, The Saint Patrick You Never Knew, St. Anthony Messenger, March 1997). With his introduction of Christianity and its respect for human life, Patrick facilitated a dramatic decline in war and murder, as well as an end to the slave trade. In subsequent centuries, Saint Patrick's respect for human life has continued to inspire Irish heroism.
"One Man's Hero" relates an incident which seems largely ingnored in American history books. During the Mexican-American War, a group of Catholic immigrants - most of whom were Irish - actually switched sides. To a very large extent, they appear to have been responding to inhumane treatment of Mexican people[...]in the American military."
AN IMPORTAN BUT NEGLECTED PART OF OUR HISTORY
A. Calabrese | NJ--United States | 05/05/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"One Man's Hero directed by Lance Hool is a good film to watch if you want to understand the most neglected aspect of America's history, namely our war of expansionism with Mexico. This film will give you an understanding of the animosity between Americans and Mexicans. Tom Berenger plays real life character John Riley. The American army in those days was rife with anti-Catholicism, much like the surrounding culture of the day. Catholics in the US Army, mostly Irish, but some Germans and others deserted because of harsh treatment. The film does a good job of giving you the viewpoints of many important people in this part of our combined American and Mexican history, namely Zachary Taylor, future President and vocal opponent of the war, General Winfield Scott, who hoping the war will catapult him to the Presidency bleeds his field units dry, while embracing a lot of symbolism over substance. And, the Mexicans, who will oppossed to the American presence in their land, have no use for the Mexican military leadership, lacking in any real tactical skill, nor its government run by the dictator General Santa Ana. This movie will get you up to snuff on the infamous San Patricio Brigade, American Immigrants, who deserted the US Army and fought for Mexico, and the Mexican War. As I remember being taught American history, it went something like, the colonies, the American Revolution, let's not forget the War of 1812, the Louisiana Purchase, the Alamo, and jump right to the American Civil War. This film will explain that shame, and fill in the blanks. A great action yarn that stays true to history."