Countless movies that have been produced correlate with major historical events. Anastasia, Titanic and Pocahontas are movies with a touch of historical accuracy and fiction the writer slides in the films. For instance, in Anastasia, the princess’ parents were murdered leaving her an orphan; however, in real life she too was murdered. This poses a major question: what is the filmmaker’s responsibility to be historically accurate? A writer’s goal with any movie is to make money by creating an entertaining movie. Filmmakers add romance, action and music to historical movies to create a more enticing production. To do this, the basic story remains the same, but characters are sometimes changed to make the movie more enjoyable (News Hour). For example, the movie Titanic took a historical event and told a fictional story around it, giving the movie a more appealing affect. Another trick filmmakers use to produce successful historical movies is to embellish how good the good guys are and how bad the bad guys are: or they simply alter a character altogether (News Hour). In Disney’s Pocahontas, the Native American princess is depicted as a voluptuous grown woman who falls in love with Captain John Smith. Pocahontas was actually a young girl at the time of John Smith’s capture by the Powhatans. Although Pocahontas is older, Disney shows a similarity between fact and fiction. The Natives were: “ready with their clubs to beat out his [Smith’s] brains, Pocahontas, the King’s dearest daughter…got his head in her arms and laid her own upon his to save him from death” (Smith 34). Disney writers illustrate that basic historical events can remain the same while entertaining the audience. It is the writer’s responsibility to give the audience a background of the events by keeping the basic historical points. However, it is not the writer’s job to tell historical events blow by blow; it is up to the viewers to research the scenes that the movie portrays.
September 19, 2012