The Oscar for Best Fabrication


The New York Times has published the piece The Oscar for Best Fabrication by Maureen Dowd.  Some of the examples mentioned in Dowd’s article include:

The affable and talented Ben Affleck has admitted that his film’s climax, with Iranian Revolutionary Guard officers jumping in a jeep, chasing the plane down the runway and shooting at it, was fabricated for excitement.

“Zero Dark Thirty,” “based on firsthand accounts of actual events,” has been faulted for leaving the impression that torture was instrumental in the capture of Osama. It celebrates Jessica Chastain’s loner character, “Maya,” when it could have more accurately and theatrically highlighted “The Sisterhood,” a team of female C.I.A. analysts who were part of the long effort.

And then there’s the kerfuffle over “Lincoln,” which had three historical advisers but still managed to make some historical bloopers. Joe Courtney, a Democratic congressman from Connecticut, recently wrote to Steven Spielberg to complain that “Lincoln” falsely showed two of Connecticut’s House members voting “Nay” against the 13th Amendment for the abolition of slavery.

Remember the quote from Mark Twain, “It ain’t what you don’t know that gets you into trouble. It’s what you know for sure that just ain’t so.”

It does bother me when dramatizations of history make up stuff that is untrue.  I always remind myself after seeing such a movie to try to erase everything I have seen from my memory.  If you don’t do that, you will end up with a recollection of historical facts that are not historical nor are they facts.  Of course erasing something like this from your memory is as impossible as erasing an email that you have sent from being recorded somewhere in the cloud.

I am not pleased by movie makers when they pollute my mind with false information.  I did finally draw the line with “Zero Dark Thirty”.  I will not see that movie because of the portrayal of torture as an effective means of getting information when I have read that people who were responsible for getting important intelligence from captives tell us that torture actually stops the flow of useful information.

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