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Topic: Two-Headed

Mountain Meadow Massacre tragedy unfolds on stage and screen


Film & Video

btf-two_headed-tree.jpgIn a lesser known part of American history, in the southwestern Utah landscape of 150 years ago, tragedy unfolded supposedly at the hands of a Mormon militia. The Mountain Meadows Massacre of 1857 occurred when a group of at least 130 Arkansas pioneers — men, women and children — were slaughtered by raiders supposedly with ties to the Mormon Church, a link still debated to this day. The raiders were laboring under the misconception that these new settlers were somehow linked to the persecution of Latter Day Saints in the Midwest years before.

While On The Road In America this summer, I was gifted with the opportunity to see a new Berkshire Theater Festival production, Two-Headed, which has its roots in this historical tragedy. Then I stumbled upon an upcoming film, September Dawn, a Hollywood version that specifically chronicles the massacre with the usual fantasized story lines that will attempt to make the characters real when it hits the silver screen in about a month.

september-dawn.jpgIn the movie version of this tragedy, John Voight stars as a Mormon elder with two sons on opposite sides of the issues of faith and free will: follow doctrine, or follow one’s own spiritual beliefs. To kill or not to kill. And to love, even if one’s love stands on the other side of your theology. Terrence Stamp is featured as Mormon leader Brigham Young in this retelling of murders with religious ties. «Read the rest of this article»


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