I have to disagree with the idea from the article, “Confronting the Fact of Fiction and the Fiction of Fact,” that filmmakers should produce historically-based films that are completely factual. Granted, there are certain types of film that rely solely on facts such as documentaries or educational films, in which case I would find it necessary. However, film-making is an art; art depends heavily on interpretation and imagination. I believe that fact-checking a film would defeat the purpose of creating a film in the first place. What we learn from most movies is not typically information that can be used in a term paper; we watch them for entertainment. If historical accuracy was a mandatory component in film-making, then some of the movies that we consider to be masterpieces today would not be around.
Some of the movies mentioned by Dargis and Scott in the article which received criticism for their authenticity included “Argo” and “Django Unchained.” I personally thought “Argo” was a really well-done movie despite the falsities found in it. Ben Affleck took a particularly unique event from American history and made it into a thrilling portrayal of heroism through the U.S. citizens involved in the rescue of the six escapees from Iran. Although he did not follow the story precisely as it happened, he used his skills as a filmmaker to make the story more compelling than it originally would have been. As for the film, “Django Unchained,” I think most audiences would have been able to recognize that this was not based on a true story; rather, it was Quentin Tarantino’s idea of “rewritten history.” Most of his later films have a heavy dose of vengeance and nothing screams revenge more than a former slave killing off a plantation owner. The fact of the matter is, Tarantino did not want a historically accurate film, he wanted an action film. The same can be said for the movie, “A Few Good Men”. Aaron Sorkin based the film on an actual trial but there were no murder charges and no dramatic confessions drawn in the real trial. Sorkin may have twisted the truth of the original story but he made a great film out of it which got him many nominations. People did not credit Sorkin for how accurately he followed the story; he was praised for the quality of the film he was able to produce from it. I believe that filmmakers should be able to portray history as accurately or as inaccurately as they want since films should not be held accountable as reliable sources of information.
Although it is important for certain films, such as documentaries, to be accurate and truthful, I don’t believe that all films need to be made according to facts. Whether a historically-based film is factual or not is up to the filmmaker. I personally think that filmmakers would be considered artists before they would be called historians so it should not be their concern to produce historically accurate films unless they wish to do so. Their main concern is creating a movie that audiences would want to watch and a movie that portrays their creative image. Painters don’t have copy editors to make sure they color within the lines so why should filmmakers cater to fact-checkers?