Without picking too much on ‘Zero Dark Thirty’, this is a good reminder of the difference between history and a work of art/entertainment. When you watch something like ‘Inglorious Basterds’, you know the history presented is false, or an alternate. However, when a supposedly ‘true story’ is altered to be more engaging or easier to understand, I find that is an issue, and something artists and audiences need to be aware of. These are stories. Not histories.
The critique, written by former CIA official Jose A. Rodriguez Jr., suggests anew the mythmaking capacity of fact-based films. “Inevitably,” Rodriguez writes of Zero Dark Thirty, “films like this come to be seen by the public as a sort of proxy for reality.”
And that’s especially troubling because, as Rodriguez also points out:
“One of the advantages of inhabiting the world of Hollywood is that you can have things both ways.” Publicity for Zero Dark Thirty emphasizes that it rests upon careful research, Rodriguez notes; at the same time, the film’s screenwriter, Mark…
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