The authors indicated that the movie directors tend to twist facts so as to make their films more interesting and acceptable to the movie goers and ultimately to ensure that they are more bankable or financially successful in Hollywood. The article on ``Cinderella Man'' for instance had pointed out that the movie director of this film Ron Howard had ``omitted or suppressed'' some good qualities of a major character (in this case boxer Max Bauer who fought the lead character, fellow boxer James Braddock). Bauer was portrayed at one point in the film as a mean person (in reality he was not) so that the latter would be the ``villain'' to the character of Braddock, who in turn was portrayed as the hero in this ``fairy tale.'' The director also took liberties in making it appear that the boxing match between Braddock and Bauer was one harrowing ``slugfest'' when in reality newspapers at that time described the event as one of the worst heavyweight boxing match. And this was apparently to put more drama and bankability in the movie.
In your opinion, do the historical inaccuracies harm or help our understanding of past events and historical figures?
When historical facts in a story are twisted, we end up not getting the complete picture of the story. And thus we end up having wrong information and perception on why and how these events happened and why these historical figures acted the way they did, among others. I guess our understanding of these events and the people here are then limited and confined to the details provided in the film –not unless we bother to do research and find out the true story. In the World War II film ``Saving Private Ryan'' for instance, the article noted that there were inaccuracies in the US military offensive at Omaha Beach in Normandy, particularly on a scene where US soldiers were shown being able to blow up concrete bunkers there of German soldiers when in reality it was US ships which did the job. This is an important fact in the Omaha Beach offensive and after seeing the film, the audience would just take it for granted that this scene really happened.
In your opinion, do the historical inaccuracies harm or help our understanding of the present people or groups? That is to say do directors use historical events and people to make a point about America and Americans today?
I believe directors do use historical events and people to make a point about America, its culture and its people in their films. And when they take liberties in presenting some historical facts in their films, I would think sometimes they do so in order to magnify the point they want to raise on issues raging in realtime. And I believe at least in the films presented this helped in our understanding of what is happening in America today as shown in the article on ``There Will Be Blood'' (a story of an American oil man and his strong bid for money and power). It pointed out for instance that the film was released ``just before the great financial collapse of 2008-2009 when wildcatting financiers inflicted several trillion dollars damage upon the global economy.'' And while the film was said to have portrayed unfairly American oil magnate Edward Doheny, it was to make the point of how ruthlessness and greed for power and money continues to this day.
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