Alex Horwitz’s documentary Hamilton’s America is a four-year journey with Lin-Manuel Miranda as he writes, workshops, and ultimately performs what will become the musical phenomenon Hamilton.
Horwitz writes on IndieWire about looking to the show’s concept to find the inherent drama for the film. “What did I want to get? History, history, history,” he writes. “From the moment I heard the first song, I could feel the alchemy of Hamilton at work. It made obscure, 18th Century American history as vital and vibrant as any contemporary rap album or action movie. It wasn’t a gimmick; it was drama at its best. This was confirmed to me when I saw the audience at the Mixtape concert cheer an early version of ‘Cabinet Battle #1,’ in which Thomas Jefferson and Alexander Hamilton spar in hip-hop verse over a proposal for America’s new Federal Government to assume the Revolutionary War debt of the States. Are you kidding me? How is that exciting? How did he get a bunch of jaded New Yorkers to laugh, cheer, and tap their feet to this? I wanted to capture that alchemy at work, and, if I could, explore the history even further – get something on film that even audiences of the musical wouldn’t see.”
Hamilton’s America premieres on PBS’s Great Performances on October 21st.
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