^^^Marx had it backwards, first time is farce, the second time is tragedy?
PS From HNN:
The first scene is arresting: Two black soldiers speak with the president about their experiences in combat. One, a corporal, raises the problem of unequal promotions and pay in the Union Army. Two white soldiers join them, and the scene concludes as the corporal walks away, movingly reciting the final lines of the Gettysburg Address.
Unfortunately it is all downhill from there, at least as far as black characters are concerned....Mr. Spielberg’s “Lincoln” helps perpetuate the notion that African Americans have offered little of substance to their own liberation. While the film largely avoids the noxious stereotypes of subservient African-Americans for which movies like “Gone With the Wind” have become notorious, it reinforces, even if inadvertently, the outdated assumption that white men are the primary movers of history and the main sources of social progress....
The first scene of course shows African Americans in desperate hand to hand combat. This kind of gross misstatement of fact is always symptomatic of bad faith argument, revealing this to be a fake left critique.
Also, another HNN article cites Fawn Brodie's biography as telling us that Stevens had his housekeeper's portrait painted. It says Brodie argued that you don't have your housekeeper's portrait painted. It also cites Ms Smith's days long vigil by Stevens' deathbed. I agree that these things show as clearly as can be expected that Stevens and Smith were a couple.