The Da Vinci Code, a fictional book, written by Dan Brown was heavily criticised for presenting fictional events in the history of Christianity as a reality. Brown, never claimed it to be historically accurate, yet by mixing fact with fiction it is difficult to understand where the truth ends. As many would not have questioned the history presented in this book or film, acquired knowledge would be based on fiction written by Brown. The book further confuses readers as it has a lengthy acknowledgment, making it appear that Brown did lengthy research into the topic making it a more credible historical source.
When a film rewrites fact to better convey the desired message of the film it dilutes historical truth, but makes the film more captivating. By presenting new symbols and meaning to the famous painting of Da Vinci the story becomes more engrossing. To what extent should this be allowed, especially if people are taking it to be fact? Film producers prefer to label films as true, to draw in viewers. Although, there are measures in place to monitor and prevent false advertising the requirements are very low making it easy to pass a very overdramatised reality as fact.
Another example of this is, The Crown. Most of this show is based on pure speculation as no matter how much research conducted we will never know the exact details of the royals intimate life. This brings into question how much of what we watch and believe to be true is based on the writer’s imagination. The creative license bestowed on the writer allows them to influence the viewer’s opinion and knowledge and this potentially could be harmful.
Distorting events in films and literature can have consequences. Zero Dark Thirty implied through torturing detainees in Guantanamo, the US was able to receive information which discovered the location of Osama Bin Laden. However, this is inaccurate and this fallacy can have an effect on a person’s view on issues. In this case, torture could be justified under false premises. By contorting events the plot becomes increasingly captivating but creates issues for spectators who do not question where fact becomes fiction.
Most films we watch are made in Hollywood, so, history is being told through the USA’s perspective. This has led to many films enhancing US’s involvement. As studies have shown children remember information presented to them through film more than through textbooks even if the information is wrong. Does this mean fictional retelling of events will overshadow the true incident?
The influence of storytelling through literature and film can bring the world’s attention to new issues while also reminding us of important past events. While watching a film based on true events, one buys into the whole story and so tends not to question the legitimacy of the events presented as that would make the experience less engrossing. With films distorting and often completely inventing historical events, the line between fact and fiction become blurred, inaccuracy and oversimplification are overlooked and pop culture becomes the ‘real’ version of past events. However, films and literature have the ability to inspire us to research deeper into topics and help us become more insightful on past and present issues.