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Hollywood Versus History: New World Essay

1552 words - 7 pages

There are many adaptations and interpretations on how the English arrived to the Americas and established their colonies. The 2005 film “New World”, written and directed by Terrance Malick, is a film based off the English settlers and how they settled in the Americas in 1607, and the forbidden relationship between John Smith and Pocahontas. Although the film highly exaggerates on some scenes in order to make the history seem more interesting, the film still holds most historical accuracy and is an enjoyable film.
The main plot of the film focuses on the relationship between John Smith, Pocahontas and John Rolfe. The film was a romantic film and had a lot of romantic scenes that were probably not portrayed in actual historical events. For example, the two main characters in the film were of course John Smith and Pocahontas, and there were many scenes in the movie that implied their romantic relationship. Scenes, such as when the two are connecting with one another, spending time together and learning about each other mostly through touch and sign language, after Pocahontas had saved John Smith from execution. In these few scenes each character narrates and discusses their idea on love and expressing their feelings on one another. Although, entertaining, John Smith and Pocahontas weren’t actually romantically involved with each other as the film portrays in these few scenes. It is uncertain what the relationship John Smith and Pocahontas actually had. Most likely, it was a beneficial relationship between the two, since there was a lot of trading between the Native American tribes and the colonists. (Read, 2005)
The main characters of the film were John Smith, Pocahontas and John Rolfe. Usually it is hard for films to portray characters in a realistic sense based on historical facts, especially since most historical evidence can be hard to portray and find. Though for the most part, the film did an accurate job in portraying the characters as some historical sources defines them. For example, Pocahontas was about an 11 year old child when the English settlers had arrived. She was a native Princess and favorite daughter of Chief Powhatan. She was a young and free spirited young girl, and her name was roughly translated to “playful one” since she was so childlike. (Grizzard, 2007). The Pocahontas character in the film showed these types of characteristics. She acted playful, and free spirited. John Smith had even quoted her as “All the children of the king were beautiful, but she, the youngest, was so exceedingly so that the sun himself - though he saw her often - was surprised whenever she came out into his presence. Her father had a dozen wives, a hundred children, but she was his favorite. She exceeded the rest not only in feature and proportion but in wit and spirit too. All loved her.” This quote from the film, told a lot about the character’s personality.
John Smith another major character in the film, in the beginning of the film was...

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