Re: The Public Looks at History and "The Patriot"

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Posted by MMMMarcia on July 06, 2000 at 19:45:09:

In Reply to: The Public Looks at History and posted by Gayle on July 06, 2000 at 18:30:06:

Great article, Gayle! Thanks for sharing. I think I agree pretty much with what Mr. Parrow says. It would be wonderful to find a movie that inspires us while being perfectly historically accurate, too, but the next best thing is one that at least presents a picture of what it was like during earlier ages. History buffs will remember the name of each battle & general, but the everyday public will not, even if those things are presented factually. What they WILL remember is a strong and emotional portrayal of the struggle towards freedom, and that's a good thing, too.

Where accuracy is concerned, historical films don't fare any worse than films set in today's era. Just how accurate or realistic are films like "Lethal Weapon," "True Lies," "Deep Impact," "Die Hard," "Die Harder," or "Die, Goldang It, DIE!"??
Action movies, in particular, suffer from a dearth of realism or accuracy in nearly every case. Love stories aren't too far behind. And comedies? Well...let's not even go there! In other words, Hollywood is Hollywood, and Entertainment rather than Education is King.

As I said in an earlier post, I felt the characters in The Patriot were nicely done & the acting competent. And while I feel the movie borrows heavily from LOTM, Braveheart & other films, that's not unusual in the industry as a whole. It IS very definitely a "Mel Gibson Movie," but that isn't necessarily a bad thing, for some of us. While I don't consider it a "great" movie that will shine up there in the annals of Filmdom's Works of Art, I did enjoy it, and will probably see it again.

None of this means I wouldn't appreciate a more accurate film, but as we have all said before, movies are primarily entertainment. Anyone who expects to learn real history from them is probably fooling themselves. Why not take to task the real problem here, and that is an educational system which simply doesn't teach history any more. If the majority of our children grew up learning a bit more about the past, this entire debate would be pointless, wouldn't it?

Just a thought...

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