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Comparison Of Authenticity Essay

1202 words - 5 pages

From the past to present many scholars, filmmakers, and historians engage on an ongoing debate between film’s using a piece of memory to retell the history of events in the past. Filmmakers can also take on the role of historians, but as an alternate retelling of a specific event, unless it is a biopic. Marita Sturken uses the example of Oliver Stone’s docudramas to explain how Stone, himself is using his experiences to retell the story. Besides using his experiences, he tries to recreate history with docudramas that question the legitimacy, while Barbie Zelizer uses Steven Spielberg as a filmmaker to retell history through the retelling of a novel. Both authors use a filmmaker and specific examples of their work to explore how individuals remember major events without specifically witnessing them; specifically Sturken focusing on the legitimacy of Stone and while Zelizer uses Spielberg and his documentary style to address the event of the Holocaust.
Sturken uses Stone’s credibility of his past to determine the legitimacy of the docudramas created by Stone. Stone as a filmmaker is often thought of as the individual that Americans were looking for by having his well-known films Platoon and Born on the Fourth of July that represented history well due to the credibility he had for serving in the war. Sturken uses this as an early example to prove her point on how history is represented from a specific perspective. Although later on in her article she uses Stone’s other films about government conspiracies, which shows that he does not have the authority to create a false history within the American culture through his presidential films. By having films being created under the genre of “docudrama” it can create a misconception of what should be represented correctly or how the past is being remembered. The docudrama creates a false sense of history, which then could result in the distortion on how a culture remembers certain events. Sturken reinforces the idea that filmmakers as historians, such as Stone; specifically is to show his credentials to retell history through film. Although the docudramas of Platoon and Born on the Fourth of July it proves itself to be a legitimate experience of the Vietnam War that allows the viewer to have a more accurate representation of the time. While Sturken focused on Stone’s docudramas as a way to retell history, and trying to maintain an accurate representation of the past Zelizer explores Spielberg’s method of retelling the Holocaust.
The Holocaust was a major event in our history, but Spielberg’s take on Schindler’s List with popular culture in mind. Similar to Sturken when she discusses on how there was tension when Stone tried to tell historical presidential events without authority; Zelizer uses Spielberg and popular culture how it affects the authoritative voice it has to retell the Holocaust. Spielberg had an obsession with the documentary style, which he tried to recreate an image, as an image-maker...

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