Historical Events in the Film Industry Essay

Historical Events in the Film Industry Essay

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The most frustrating thing about doing Viking age living history re-enactment is the questions that people ask: “why is your sword so light?” and of course, “where are your horns?” Repeatedly, these questions must be answered, but why do people have these images of past times anyway? Apart from Wagner’s fat lady singing opera with horns and a pointed bra, it is todays period films and television shows that lead people to believe these inaccuracies and ultimately provide a false lesson in history. Moreover, many of the storylines aren’t even true to the real events, giving a skewed portrayal of what is indeed, history. During the last few years spent as a re-enactor, I’ve learned nothing about film making or anything thereof; I have, however, learned a lot about specific historical lifestyles and events. Thus, I find myself thinking that it would be easier for filmmakers to follow the historical events rather than make new ones up from scratch, in turn, using their medium to teach people rather than raise more questions for me to answer.
People believe they gain knowledge about history by watching Hollywood films claiming to be based on historical events, even sometimes claiming to be historically “accurate” altogether. I too, fell victim to this Hollywood enigma until I realized a true interest in history. Some of my favorite movies like Mel Gibson’s Braveheart and Michael Crichton’s The 13th Warrior forged my imagination about what a Viking wore and how ancient Scots fought battles, but these movies portrayed things that happened differently or never happened at all. Ultimately, my realization of the fallacies within these films and my sheer disappointment led me to set aside my favorite movies and seek more authentic al...

... middle of paper ...

...l. But if they would do things accurately it would reduce the risk of people forgetting the important things, like how The Battle of Sterling was won—a momentous time in Scottish history; as well as other cultures’ valuable pasts, including ours.

Works Cited

Braveheart. Dir. Mel Gibson. Perf. Mel Gibson. Icon Entertainment International. 1995. DVD.
Ewan, Elizabeth. “Braveheart.” The American Historical Review. 100.4 (1995): 1219-21. Web. 13 March 2014.
Franklin, Cory. “History According to Hollywood.” New York Times. New York Times. 22 Feb 2013. Web. 13 March 2014.
The 13th Warrior. Dir. Michael Crichton. Perf. Antonio Banderas. Touchstone Pictures. 1999. DVD.
Umanath, Sharda. “Historical Inaccuracies In Movies Can Hinder Learning.” Positive and Negative Effects of Monitoring Popular Films for Historical Inaccuracies. Duke UP. 12 Jan. 2012. Web. 13 March 2014.

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