Absolutes with no absolution

Review D+

August 24, 2007|By Chris Kaltenbach | Chris Kaltenbach,SUN REPORTER

"Inspired" by a dark chapter in American history, September Dawn presents a ham-fisted cautionary tale of religious fanaticism that would have been hooted out of even 19th-century theaters as melodrama of the most lurid kind.

On Sept. 11, 1857, a band of Mormon zealots attacked a wagon train of 120 settlers heading for California. The ensuing slaughter that took place in the Utah pass known as Mountain Meadows is largely undisputed history. But other questions about the raid -- especially whether members of the Mormon hierarchy, possibly even church leader Brigham Young, ordered it -- have been hotly debated.

September Dawn (Black Diamond Pictures) Starring Jon Voight, Trent Ford, Tamara Hope. Directed by Christopher Cain. Rated R. Time 110 minutes.

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