EW Staff
January 19, 2014 AT 12:00 PM EST

We all know Abraham Lincoln as our 16th president, but what was his upbringing like? Director A.J. Edwards sheds some light on that topic in the Sundance film The Better Angels, starring newcomer Braydon Denney as young Abe, Diane Kruger (Inglourious Basterds) as his stepmom, Brit Marling (Another Earth) as his birth mother, and Wes Bentley (American Beauty) as his teacher.

Edward and his cast sat down with EW’s Anthony Breznican in Park City to talk about life before the iconic top hat.

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