Blog Post #1 Q.7

by Matthew Siklosi on October 5, 2017 - 11:00pm

Historical films affect and construct our understanding of history by being a medium in which the greater public engages with history. A good historical film should not only accurately represent the event or period but also pique the viewers’ interest. Just calling a film “historical” doesn’t make it so. Unfortunately a lot of people will think a film is an authority on a subject because it is “historical” or “based on true events.” This means that viewers and film makers have to be careful with historical films. When someone goes to make a historical film, if they take the time to research the subject matter and recreate their setting, they do a great service in telling someone’s story. This sort of historical film is great entertainment as well as an education tool. When people who are not historians watch this breed of historical film, they can engage, learn, and be entertained by the movie. Problems arise when a movie claims to be historical, however it will inaccurately represent subject matter, sometimes grossly. Most often what will happen is when making a movie small inaccuracies or inconsistencies might be made for the sake of story. These are most often harmless and or unimportant to the core of the story. The more grievous error is to intentionally make inaccuracies, omit events, and misrepresent events either due to no respect for the source material or someone trying to push their own agenda. This sort historical film only discredits the genre. When putting together a historical film it is up to those to make it to be as true and accurate as possible. While film makers are responsible for what they put out into the world the onus does not solely rely on them. Viewers must also critically think about what they are watching and possibly fact check what they find questionable. Depending on whether a film is well made or not can affect the public’s understanding of history. A well made film will boost interest for a certain event, a poorly made movie only discredits the term historical film.