Well not just Disney, but whoever is making “bio-style” pictures, and/or whoever writes the most compelling story. Why do I say this? Simple, I sat down late one night to catch a movie before crashing, and it was “Rudy.” Rudy is one of those movies I love to watch, and one that is “based” on a true story. Well, the fact it is based on a true story many people believe it is somewhat accurate.
Take the climactic scene where Rudy’s teammates are willing to give up their spot in a game to allow Rudy to dress in their place. This scene which seems to validate all the hard work and the talk he was given about doing the right thing. But, it never happened. In fact it was the head coach at the time Dan Devine who thought the right thing to do was for Rudy to dress in that game. That decision, if it made the movie would probably be less climactic, and maybe the movie wouldn’t be as good. Those thinking I am not telling the truth a link here – https://www.babble.com/celebrity/5-known-inaccuracies-in-movie-based-on-rudy-ruettingers-life-its-still-inspirational/ – as well as checking Wikipedia will surface the same information.
But what does this movie have to do with History? Well, this is parallel to what has happened in all of history. All of the history lessons we have been taught, everything in books etc. have been written by someone. And that someone will have the decision on what they choose to portray. This includes facts they choose to omit and twist they would like to have. What we end up learning is no more than one view of the truth. The bigger mistake we ask children to memorize these inconsistencies and grade them on whether they can regurgitate them.
Where is the proof? Well let start with Christopher Columbus, start here some a great listen – https://www.backstoryradio.org/shows/1492-3/ – “For centuries, Columbus was a historical footnote. But that changed in 1828, when Washington Irving, the writer of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow and other tall tales, wrote the first English-language biography of Columbus.” – So the author of the Sleepy Hollow chose to make Columbus into an Italian hero. Thanks to Adam Ruins Everything for bringing this to light.
But this is not the only gaff – Our history lessons are riddled with it. There are books like “Lies my teacher told me,” most of the episodes of Adam Ruins everything, and all to let us know things like Vikings never wore horned helmets. The question should be asking is why we allow this. I have written before about how I thought the internet was supposed to make the world better and hoping that sites like Wikipedia allow history to be properly detailed as we won’t rely on a single author to present their one-sided view of the facts. I also hope that that site and others will allow multiple versions of what happened. As looking through a war on the side of the victor is not always the right version.
I have constantly asked in my blog for you to become a better person, one simple way is to question what you read, see etc. If you see a bio-pic, dig in to see what is true and what was left out, or changed. So the next time you watch Apollo 13 you will realize there were very few inconsistencies, and none that would ruin the move – https://www.worldsciencefestival.com/2014/04/cinema_peer_review_how_accurate_was_apollo_13/
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