Today, movie writers and directors have a tendency to change history through the cinema. The new craze sweeping filmmakers is producing movies based on true stories or past events. In most cases, the production team feels the need to put their own creative spin on history, instead of portraying exactly what happened in the past. It is impossible to create a completely accurate depiction of a historical event down to the last detail, so many directors decide to focus on a specific part of the story, or make a new part up entirely. Future generations will see these films on Fmovies and forget what actually happened. The film will become universally accepted as the truth, even if it barely follows the true event as it originally happened.
A prime example of a director spinning a historical event can be seen in the movie Titanic. The writer and director, James Cameron, begins the film with an accurate portrayal of the Titanic. However, he soon changes his focus from showing the audience the gorgeous boat, and shifts the center of attention to a fictitious couple. Cameron did not want his film to be gloomy and unhappy, so he chose to show very few details about the boat and of the actual collision with the iceberg, which led to the deaths of hundreds of people. Instead, the movie was dedicated to the romance of a single couple.
War movies also have the tendency to change details in history for the purpose of proving a point or sending a message to the audience. In the film Tears of the Sun, the core event of the film is the fall of a Nigerian dictator. Instead of recreating the entire rise and fall of a brutal ruler, the writer, Alex Lasker, invents a special-ops commander who has a change of heart during his mission. The fabricated mission begins with a simple snatch and grab operation of a prominent figure, but the once stone-cold commander realizes that he cannot leave the innocent Nigerians behind to be slaughtered by the rebel forces. By creating the film, Lasker produced something more then a couple of hours of entertainment; he showed the American population the hardships people in third world countries face everyday. Like Titanic, the movie only began with a true event; it soon shifted its focus to a fictional story.
Other movies simply take bits and pieces of history and combine them together to form a movie. Jim Kouf's National Treasure contains quite a bit of historically accurate information, but the story engulfing these bits was created solely to hold the attention of the audience. The movie focuses on a conspiracy theory involving the founding fathers of the United States. The protagonist, Ben Gates, follows a serious of clues that takes him from the Declaration of Independence, to a room filled with the lost historical artifacts of world history. During his travels, Gates uses his vast historical knowledge to follow a serious of clues to find the treasure. While the knowledge Gates uses is accurate, the hidden treasure he seeks is not.
By portraying events differently than they originally took place, writers and directors are doing more damage than good. The world is now ruled by technology. Most children spend countless hours in front of the television and rarely pick up a book. While creatively spinning history in movies may be more entertaining to an audience, future generations will never learn what really happened in the past, but will depend on unreliable cinematic sources to learn their history.