Film is not only a great time filler, but can also be a great learning tool. It can be used within a school setting to put emphasis on subject material. Often, documentaries are used due to a common understanding of factual trustworthiness.
Surprisingly, not all facts presented in a historical film are completely accurate. Today’s film audiences are subject to a constant battle between factual value and entertainment value in film making.
In the 1940’s documentaries and historically based movies began to become more popular. This was the time in history where History vs Hollywood began an issue.
According to SC Writing Improvement Network consultant Baker, directors and screenwriters were altering a small part within the story. They would also rearrange the timeline in a way to make the film eye-catching to viewers at home. This ultimately was an effort by the film-makers to put their own creative spin on the story line.
Historians, disagreed with the concept of altering the facts because they saw this as giving false information to the public. In the eyes of the historians changing around the timeline or slightly altering the facts made it a false claim.
In response, the screenwriters became frustrated with the historian opinions of their work. The screenwriters believed the historians should have been thankful for having interesting subject matter in their field of knowledge to judge.
This concept can be comparable to a white lie. With a white lie, a person tells only enough of the truth so that they do not feel guilty about their lie. In their documentaries, the film makers were only telling enough of the factual, historical truth to make their white lies seem legitimate.
Documentaries were not the only movies where historical facts were turned around by the filmmakers. For example, the documentary series titled “The Men Who Killed Kennedy” stirred up major conflict between the two parties. This production took information that had been true to Kennedy’s assassination but was also taking false information and bringing it all together.
One fact that this movie stretched was the number of men who killed Kennedy: The movie states more than one man killed him, while most U.S. History books state that only one man (Lee Harvey Oswald), was the killer. Therefore, this series could be classified as a conspiracy. When released to the public, the documentary was very popular even though it was not completely factual.
Some historical films are not accepted into documentary film festivals due to the true factual information they withhold. These films are then labeled simply as “fiction” due their poor use of historical fact.
Just because a movie is labeled as a documentary or based on a true story does not necessarily mean it is true. Information can be altered and commonly is. When a movie presents false facts, the audience retains those false facts. Useless information like this is simply pointless to the viewers.
Recreation movie and videos are excellent entertainment sources, but are not made to gain knowledge from. Going towards the future, historical films should strive to be more on track with the correct facts.Who’s side are you on – History or Hollywood? Let us know in the comments below. Coming up next is Old Hollywood compared to Millennialism, so keep an eye out.
– Jenna Forrester