The Better Angels

Synopsis: Indiana, 1817. The entire nation, only 40 years old and a few years removed from a second war of independence, is raw. Men, women, and children alike must battle nature and disease to survive in remote log cabins. This is young Abraham Lincoln's world. Spanning three years of the future president's childhood, The Better Angels explores his family, the hardships that shaped him, the tragedy that marked him forever, and the two women who guided him to immortality.
Director(s): A.J. Edwards
Production: Amplify
  1 nomination.
Rotten Tomatoes:
95 min


Wanna know what kind

of boy he was?

Well, I myself, his cousin,

am the only one living

that knowed him that early.

Knowed him the day he was born.

Lived with him most of the time

until he was 21,

and left home for good.

His Pappy didn't drink,


play cards.

And them were drinking,

cussin', quarrelsome days.

...I was running out

of the woods,

and he's got that paint

all over his face.

He grabs me and he reaches down

and picks me up,

and he lines him up,

nice and steady-like,

'cause it ain't no squirrel.

Shot rings out.

And your Uncle Josiah...

A little slab of bacon

with a hoecake...

A little cornbread

and milk every day...

He said he never had

a prettier target.

...and he was satisfied.

You hoe?


Do it right.

What did you read today?

About Noah.

He lived to be 950.

Will you stay with me?

I'm here.

She couldn't read or write none.

Had to make her mark, instead.

Cousin could.

Taught hisself.

She was a believer.

Now you can mark your place

in your book.

She knew so much

of what she believed

was yonder.

Always yonder.

Every day came scrubbing,


There was so little time to sing

or think about the glory.

Her mind and his

seemed to run together.


What happens is, the wind comes

and it blows real hard,

and then the seeds rain down

and they land on the earth.

And then they grow up.

We should move to a place

where he can be schooled.

I've prayed on this.

Boy has more to learn here

than any schoolhouse.

He asks questions

I can't answer.

He's got a gift.

Can't turn our backs

on what God has given us.

I know best.

I remember when you were born.

I wrapped you up in a bearskin

and we slept by the fire.

But when you cried...

it was your Papa who got up

and tended to you.

I watched him hold you,

and I knew that no one

would ever care for you more.

A while back, about a mile,

half a mile back that ways.

I don't know nothin' 'bout you.

Trevor says, "What in tarnation

are you doing yelling 'low' for

when a fella's passing?"

Your Uncle says,

"Well, what in tarnation

are you doing passin' 'em

when a fella's yelling 'low'?"

Oh, boy.

Swoop up.

I don't want to hit you.


Right over your Mama's head.

I was 18.

My folks was dead.

I like it.

I went with the Sparrow family.

Same folks that raised

cousin's Mama.

We let out for Indiana.

Yes, sir.

Kentucky was getting stuck up.

Where we heading?

No place for poor folk, anymore.

It's a frog.

Catch him!

That's my name.

Don't look a thing like you.

He was sharper than me.

He learned Henry Clay's speeches

by heart.

Get him by the arms.


He took to writing on the floor.

The bench rail,

the wood and fire shovel.

All with a bit of charcoal.

Betcha can't get him like that.

It pestered his Pappy

a heap to have him

writing all over everything.

He was just wrapped up in it.

Lock your fingers.

Bring 'em around.

Like this, right here.

You ready?

You're getting it!

Might be bad water.

This will pass.

May not want to drink

from the well no more.

All my cows are gone.

All of 'em!

You, too!

Both of ya.

Go on.

It's the plague.

Nothing you can do.

In the last of days.

I prophesy.

Yeah, we'll all be buried

by the end of the week.

All gone!


We should pray.

For what?

For ourselves.

Cows ate the poison wheat.

We got the milk sick.

One week...

They were gone.

Will you get it, too?


Don't worry.




It's been such a lonely time.

Please, Mom.

Be a good boy.

Take her, Lord,

for she was yours

from the beginning.

Forgive her for her sins,

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    "The Better Angels" STANDS4 LLC, 2022. Web. 24 May 2022. <>.

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