Hollywood Amnesia

By Daniel Nardini

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - CommentaryOne of the biggest disappointments (among many) is that Hollywood does not make true historic films. We really never see for the most part movies about events in American history that have shaped this country. Those very few which come out might be good or crappy. Regardless, such films are still too few and far between. I remember two excellent films that came out in 1990 like Glory and Born on the Fourth of July. Whether one agrees with the political messages in these films or not, at least they are of historic events that did take place. There might be some other films that are of historic things that did take place like Blackhawk Down and 12 Years a Slave, but such American-made films are more the exception than the rule.

But for Hollywood, historic films seem to be anathema to their profit margins. This is why we see comic book film series such as DC Comics, cartoon-like films, science fiction movies, high action adventure films, etc., being churned out on a huge scale. Movie audiences are treated to movies with barely any acting, simplistic plots, a whole load of special effects, and predictable endings. Such films may draw in tens of millions of people, but in terms of real acting, real drama where actors try to fit into the role of a true historic person(s), Hollywood make-believe leaves a lot to be desired. More often than not, I simply do not bother to go to movie theaters these days. Films based on historic reality is not Hollywood’s forte.

What recent historic films I have seen seem to be coming out of Great Britain. Some of these films include Mr. Jones, Darkest Hour, Robert the Bruce, Mary Queen of Scots, Dunkirk, etc. The acting in these films is excellent, there are no real special effects, and more than anything the scenes, historic clothes, and how everything is meticulously shot is breathtaking. The British have a lot of history, and they have no problem putting it on the big screen. There have been some historic American films such as Lincoln, and the Free State of Jones, but these have been more exceptions than the rule. American historic films are something that just simply do not occur in Hollywood. It is very sad because such films could aid schools in making American history more interesting for students, and bring more information about American history to the public in general. If Hollywood really wants to do more service for this country, it should break that amnesia of American history and start producing way more films about America’s rich historic and cultural heritage.

Comments are closed.