1 November 2016 | tiaane
Hamilton's America is one of the best documentaries I've ever seen. I got emotional multiple times while watching this because it was so incredibly moving.
The behind the scenes of this amazing musical is told from the beginning to essentially where it is now and the impact it has. The story of how it came to be is told by Lin-Manuel Miranda one year before opening night of the show in 2014. Lin reflects on all the things that has inspired him to write this musical. One year before opening night things are still not completely ready. We take a look back to 2008 where Lin performed an early version of the song 'Alexander Hamilton' at The White House Poetry Jam and realized that there's more to be told of this story on stage. Over the years he develops this thing that he's not sure will even work. You hear rough versions of some of the songs through the years. Lin writes the lyrics in places like Aaron Burr's bedroom. Finally on opening night, the show is received incredibly well and more people want to go see this show.
Throughout the documentary the inspiration and history behind a lot of the songs are told one by one by people like Ron Chernow (whose biography of Alexander Hamilton inspired Lin), the actors who played the people that were historically involved and people who are currently in the same position of government like Obama. You get a much broader sense of what happened and how it affected things that are still relevant today like Hamilton's financial plans for the country. It's essentially a history lesson of these people and it's done incredibly well with clips from Hamilton playing, which were fantastic to see considering I haven't seen the actual musical, and the actors' mindset while portraying historical figures on stage. Things like how deeply flawed these people were and still made such a big difference.
The ending in particular is very emotional, where Leslie Odom Jr. (Aaron Burr) and Lin-Manuel Miranda (Hamilton) visits Burr and Hamilton's grave and talks about how 'Hamilton' essentially revived their legacies by telling their stories to an audience who wouldn't particularly be interested before, but who became interested in the historical significance and impact they had and still have through 'Hamilton'.
I would recommend this to anyone who has even the slightest interest in 'Hamilton' or even just interested in the history of The United Sates of America.