Jefferson in Paris

Jefferson in Paris is a 1995 Franco-American historical drama film, directed by James Ivory, and previously entitled Head and Heart. The screenplay, by Ruth Prawer Jhabvala, is a semi-fictional account of Thomas Jefferson's tenure as the Ambassador of the United States to France before his Presidency and of his alleged relationships with British artist Maria Cosway and his slave, Sally Hemings. It was the first portrayal in film of Sally Hemings, and at the time most Jefferson scholars disputed the rumors, started in 1802 by a vengeful journalist named James Callender, that Jefferson had fathered a child by her. Since then, a 1998 DNA study found a match between the male lines of Jefferson and one descendant of Hemings. In 2000, the Thomas Jefferson Memorial Foundation issued its own report on the DNA test results in light of other historical evidence and said that it was likely that Thomas Jefferson was the father of Eston Hemings, the youngest child of Sally, and "perhaps" the father of all six, four of whom lived to adulthood.

Year:
1995
173 Views

Marquis de Lafayette:
  [reading from the Dunlap Broadside of the Declaration of Independence, drafted by Thomas jefferson]  "WE hold the?e Truths to be ?elf-evident, that all Men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights".

French man 1:
  Tous les hommes naissent-ils vraiment égaux, Monsieur Jefferson?

Translator:
  Are all men created equal, Mister Jefferson?

French man 2:
  Ou serait-il plus légitime de dire, « tous les blancs naissent-ils égaux »?

Translator:
  Or should this read, "all white men are created equal"?

Thomas jefferson:
  We allowed for certain differences that are not caused by the laws of men, but by those of nature.  And though the Negro may or may not be inferior, his status in no way alters the wrongness of slavery.  It is evil.

Marquis de Lafayette:
  Yet your first draft, I believe, contained a clause on the abolition of slavery.

Thomas jefferson:
  I considered it essential, but Congress struck it out of the final Declaration as being too particular.

French man 1:
  La question de l'esclavage reste donc ouverte et non resolve, chez vous?

Translator:
  So the question remains open with you and unresolved.

French man 2:
  Votre révolution, Monsieur Jefferson, nous apparait comme incomplete.

Translator:
  Your revolution, Mister Jefferson, appears to be incomplete.

Marquis de Lafayette:
  Why did you omit the notion of property as one of those rights?

Thomas jefferson:
  Well, while I hold the right of the individual to possess property as basic, I consider it as a means to human happiness, but not as an end in itself.

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