Filmmakers on the Holocaust

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From the past to present many scholars, filmmakers, and historians engage on an ongoing debate between film’s using a piece of memory to retell the history of events in the past. Filmmakers can also take on the role of historians, but as an alternate retelling of a specific event, unless it is a biopic. Marita Sturken uses the example of Oliver Stone’s docudramas to explain how Stone, himself is using his experiences to retell the story. Besides using his experiences, he tries to recreate history with docudramas that question the legitimacy, while Barbie Zelizer uses Steven Spielberg as a filmmaker to retell history through the retelling of a novel. Both authors use a filmmaker and specific examples of their work to explore how individuals remember major events without specifically witnessing them; specifically Sturken focusing on the legitimacy of Stone and while Zelizer uses Spielberg and his documentary style to address the event of the Holocaust. Sturken uses Stone’s credibility of his past to determine the legitimacy of the docudramas created by Stone. Stone as a filmmaker is often thought of as the individual that Americans were looking for by having his well-known films Platoon and Born on the Fourth of July that represented history well due to the credibility he had for serving in the war. Sturken uses this as an early example to prove her point on how history is represented from a specific perspective. Although later on in her article she uses Stone’s other films about government conspiracies, which shows that he does not have the authority to create a false history within the American culture through his presidential films. By having films being created under the genre of “docudrama” it can create a misconception of wha... ... middle of paper ... ...on on how accurately it is represented without distorting how we remember the past. Filmmakers as historians have been discussed throughout major events that occur and can only be remembered as much. The filmmakers can use genres such as docudramas or documentary style ways of telling the narrative of the event, but is only limited to what certain documents that they can pull from to tell the story. In addition to that the filmmaker’s decision to include or exclude certain things can only capture a portion of the event without “first-hand experience”. Stone and Spielberg are historian filmmakers that carefully select specific scenes that can accurately represent major events through their own credibility or popular culture. The film then may not appeal to everyone, but does not distort how we would remember the past to great extent, but rather keep us remembering.

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