Britocentric fantasy

Allison Marles apm at alumni.uwaterloo.ca
Mon Apr 12 14:55:08 EDT 2004


On Mon, Apr 12, 2004 at 07:05:48PM +0100, minnow wrote:
> So that's not colonial/imperialist text but just fact, then. Once we
> have established that American film-makers are happy to have it being
> American submariners who were responsible for capturing the Enigma
> machine before America had even entered the war (U-571) nothing the
> film-makers do should surprise us, after all.

At that point, it veers into the gray area of misrepresenting history.
If it's presented as history, not fantasy, an ethical component enters
the fray.  While I think one should be free to make whatever film you
want, I think there is also a responsibility to ensure your audience
is aware whether it is a fantasy or not.  When it's Independance Day,
there's no question it's a fantasy.  With U-571, since the audience
knows there's some historical fact behind the movie, a responsible
filmmaker would preface the movie with a note saying something along
the lines of "this film was inspired by, but diverges from the true
events of <whatever>".  

Since so many people will be ignorant of the true events behind movies,
I think it's important for filmmakers to acknowledge that they aren't
creating a historically accurate film.  (although you may say people
shouldn't be ignorant of who captured the enigma, I mean this in a more
general sense because there are many films about less-well-known
historical events.  The Mission comes to mind for a movie that slightly
misrepresents things that people are unlikely to know ... the only 
reason I know is because I watched it as part of a film class and we
discussed this very topic).

Allison
-- 
I'm too young to buy a lifetime supply of Ovaltine.
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