“Hillsdale played such an important role in the Union and not one documentary has been made about it,” said senior Reagan Gensiejewski said.
Gensiejewski and her classmates senior in a video storytelling class, Lily McHale, junior Gabrielle Beassette, and sophomore Carter McNish, are hoping to change that in a video storytelling class with their upcoming film, “Defining Liberty: Hillsdale College and the Civil War.” The documentary follows the lives of five out of the 505 Hillsdale students who fought in the Civil War.
The film will be premiereing on Tuesday, Nov.ember 16th at 7 p.m. in Lane 124. The film, which is still being edited, will run anywhere between from 30 to 45 minutes.
Buddy Moorehouse, the classes instructor and director of two Emmy-nominated documentaries, said he picked this topic because he wanted to increase exposure to for the college’s role in the Civil War.
“It’s pretty widely known that Hillsdale had an extraordinary role in the war, but I don’t think people truly appreciate the details,” Moorehouse said.
According to Gensiejewski, each student in the class researched a different civil war veteran from the college and then compiled their stories into a single narrative.
“I researched Asher LaFleur, an orphan born in New York who ended up at Hillsdale College and decided, like many of his classmates, that it was time to fight in the war,” said Gensiejewski said. “After the war, he eventually returns to Hillsdale and actuallyactual becomes the mayor.”
The film will also chronicle the story of the soldier depicted in the college’s Civil War memorial statue.
“The Civil War statue holds so much meaning that I don’t think a lot of students understand,” Gensiejewski said. “That’s something that we are really seeking to bring to the forefront in our film.”
“There is no story that illustrates its mission better than the civil war story,” Moorehouse said. “If they really want to understand and appreciate their college, they need to see this film.”