Monumental Myths

Monumental Myths is a 47-minute documentary, which unveils the
perpetuated myths told at several American monuments and historic

Carved in rock or cast in bronze, America’s monuments are
intended—by those who commission them—to impart a sense of
authority and an unquestionable truth about the people and events they
commemorate. Director Tom Trinley traveled across the country in a
borrowed 1965 Airstream trailer and visited several sites to provide
the untold, alternative viewpoint of those whose experiences have been
left out of history and the landscape. Among others, he visited Fort
Pillow in Tennessee, The Purchase of Manhattan monument in New York
City, Lincoln’s Birthplace Log Cabin in Kentucky, the Christopher
Columbus statue on Chicago’s lakefront and Mt. Rushmore in South
Dakota. Along the way Tom interviewed local residents, tour guides,
park rangers and tourists to better understand their perspective of
American history and to find out who protects America’s myths and why.

The idea for the film was inspired by the book, Lies Across America,
written by best-selling author and sociologist Dr. James W. Loewen.
Dr. Loewen was the project’s content advisor and appears on-camera
to provide information relevant to each site. Other on-camera experts
include Howard Zinn, author of A People’s History of the United
States and Lonnie Bunch, President of the Smithsonian Institution’s
Museum of African American History.

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