Historical Dramatization In The Movie

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The components that went into the production of the 2012 film Lincoln practically guaranteed its success. It was the combination of one of the most notable events in American history, the civil war, directed by one of the most coveted movie directors in the film industry, Steven Spielberg. Unlike a lot of films typically in theatres, Lincoln included a sense of realism stemming from its basis in real history. However, for viewers like Gary Gutting, the question arrived of whether the historical dramatization had complete validity to it. As he argues in his article “Learning History at the Movies” published in the New York Times on November 29, 2012, while the film may be very entertaining, people should not interpret it as a history lesson…show more content…
It is effortless for one to make a case that omits important details, especially details that contradict one’s viewpoint. On the contrary, to maintain intellectual integrity, Gutting tries to address the many counterpoints that might arise. For example, when describing the research the production team put into the film, he acknowledges that a lot of hard work went into creating a somewhat accurate portrayal. Gutting writes that the team behind Lincoln “makes serious use of historical sources and historians’ interpretations of them” (378). Furthermore, to describe how much Lincoln’s actor invested into the character, Gutting explains “Day-Lewis worked from Tony Kushner’s thoroughly researches script, read Goodwin’s book (and much else), and discussed details with her” (379). It’s clear there was an immense amount of historical learning accomplished during the film’s production, and Gutting does not want to discredit this. However, by addressing counterpoints like these, Gutting further enhances his argument as he can explain why his position still holds up despite the drawbacks. Ultimately, he is not arguing that Lincoln is entirely wrong and that people will never have a solid understanding of history, but instead one should merely remain skeptical before taking something in as 100% fact. By addressing counterpoints and arguing a somewhat…show more content…
It is a valid question, but one must consider the difference that comes between historical movies and normal ones, as historical films must both entertain but also represent. Regardless of the answer, Gutting effectively shows the audience why it is in their best interest to take Lincoln with a grain of salt. Through the inclusion of many sides and ideas, his professionalism and knowledge in philosophy, and a rigid argument foundation, Gutting inspires readers of his New York Times article to uncover further what Lincoln and his accomplishments indeed were, not the just the interpretation the film
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