NOTE: This review was written under a previous rating system. Some of the older reviews may express opinions and judgment calls that are not in line with our current standards.2007
Franklin Springs Family Media
REVIEWED BY: SHERILYN BOGLEStill Standing, The Stonewall Jackson Story is an encouraging, motivating documentary about a great man and a great general — in that order — that left this northern-born girl much inspired. And, as a parent, I was more than pleased for my teenaged son to be watching along with me, equally inspired. Over the course of this film a number of enthusiastic historians take us on a journey through the life of General Jackson from his sorrowful boyhood and inauspicious beginnings through the days when his greatest dreams became realities. To learn that those glorious dreams were best fulfilled in his marriage and hopes of fatherhood was a very welcome surprise. Still Standing leaves us with the feeling that his rise to military greatness was the “icing on the cake,” so to speak.
Any number of documentaries have been made about the famous “Stonewall,” chronicling his military exploits, his victories, and his death. What sets this particular film apart from the pack is that it is primarily a story of redemption. It is a story of discipleship in which Christian men throughout his life mentored Thomas Jackson, taught him the Word of God, and exhorted him to strive for biblical manhood. Still Standing brings us into the inner circle where Stonewall Jackson’s deep passion and love for family and children are freely expressed. It doesn’t neglect his heroism in battle or his famous military strategies, yet it elevates Jackson’s eternal legacy above his earthly one. Whether we are learning of his unpredictable maneuvers against the North or of his determination to give a spiritual education to both slave and freed black people in his community, we can’t help but admire the man.
It won’t be hard, though, for most viewers to see the disconnect in his life between ministering to and even forming a sort of friendship with black men, and yet taking one along with him in battle as his personal slave and owning several others. This and the other usual issues that come with any story of the Civil War should make for colorful dinner table discussions for your family. There are a couple of very brief and non-graphic images of dead soldiers; and the shooting of Stonewall Jackson, his subsequent arm amputation, and eventual death is tactfully discussed, but nothing is shown.
Still Standing abounds with heroes of all kinds, biblical manhood, and a solid faith, so whether your personal leanings are toward The Blue or The Gray, you will find it to be a documentary worthy of your time. The gentle pace of this film and its edifying content make it truly recommendable for the entire family.