Intrepid Optimist

Intrepid Optimist is the place where I can share my stories; fact, fiction and thoughts from the past and present. It’s Written by myself for people who believe adventure knows no age

Is That a Fact?

Recently I found myself wondering how many of the latest,  based on the truth  films watched, really are true to their original story? This year alone there have already been a few new accounts of  historical events on film: A United Kingdom – the 1947 story of an African Prince’s marriage to an English girl; Dunkirk – the 1940 evacuation of troops from France; The Promise – the history of the Armenian genocide; and The Lost City of Z – which  traces the 1925 disappearance of the explorer Percy Fawcet.

All very entertaining I am sure but how close to the facts were they?

We know the marriage between the celluloid version and real life has always been a troubled one. Life is reality where films are fantasy and this is worrying me because many of today’s cinema goers do not really care about the truth as long as the film is engaging?

The problem  with the increasing dumbing-down of news and in many cases education – is that the majority of the younger audiences will leave the cinema believing that the, based on a true story they have just sat through is  engraved-in-stone accurate.

A short time ago I  read  that some, not so young children, having seen the latest technically enhanced, animation films believe dinosaurs do exist.

This reinvention of both historical fact and fiction in the cinema is nothing new. Lawrence of Arabia, Bridge over the river Kwai, JFK,  Braveheart, Marie Antoinette or Apocalypto, would all have been boring or too tame if the directors had been made to stick to the facts.

How often do we hear, “I have seen the film, I don’t have to read the book?” It used to be the other way round; it was a must to read the book before seeing the film. That way the film could  be compared, liked or disliked and you understood what you had watched was just  another Hollywood  version of the truth.

Unlike many of today’s film goers, you did not leave the cinema believing  you had just had an authentic history lesson.

About bbryanthomas

Not so young man about town who, having witnessed and enjoyed life, is presently having fun, writing about those by-gone times and life in general.

3 comments on “Is That a Fact?

  1. Bridgesburning Chris
    August 30, 2017

    It’s troubling because the stories..based on a true story… largely are just a vague plot line. Stories about landing planes in the Hudson, Pirates taking over ships, even Apollo 13 did not happen exactly as depicted. But the youth believe it is all true. We are actually living with and believing ‘alternative facts’ as Kellyanne Conway calls it, and it sadly is just not in Trumpland. Oh and I loved Braveheart but even without doing the follow up research I knew that Gibson was just too old for the part. The original Wallace was only 19 at that time. Now he did truly try to revenge the death of his wife the king’s men was responsible for. Of course Mel G can play any part as far as I am concerned…

    Liked by 1 person

    • bbryanthomas
      August 30, 2017

      Scottish friends of mine saw this film, when it opened in Glasgow. Despite Gibson being the wrong actor, they said they would have murdered any Englishman that night, even me if I had been present.

      Liked by 1 person

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This entry was posted on August 30, 2017 by in Books, Films, Opinion, Stories and tagged , , , .
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