Littera Deusto

Modern Languages, Basque Studies and Humanities

Historical accuracy and/or authenticity?

enero 17th, 2014 · No hay Comentarios

Ryan SpartacusIs it truly possible to create a historical film that´s both historicaly accurate and yet portray an authentic and compelling view of the timeline depicted?  Many a time we think that if a film contains too much detail about the period in which is set up or follows the historical events too closely it will come out dull and somehow documentary like. But is it the excess or detail or the inabiliti to portray them?

Some argue that films and tv series need to detour from the real facts in order to create an interesting and moving story for the viewers, and therefore achieving that balance between historical facts and creative liberties . But one should really question wether the detours taken are aimed to provided a more deep understanding of the times depicted or just cheap bait to attract as much viewers as possible. Is there really no way to create a historically accurate movie with a compelling storyline?

At least one case comes to my mind when I think about historical accuracy and amazing storytelling, Save private Ryan (1998). A truly compelling storyline combined with the most authentic setting I´ve ever seen. This example really makes me think that the sex or gory scenes from such series as Spartacus: Blood and Sand (2010-13) or films as 300 (2006) are plain unnecesary to the plot and serve only the aforementioned purpose of bait.

However it is true that one does not have to stick completely to the known facts to stay true to history, but the detours must be respectfull and backed up by a thorough research. If anyone would like to see a really good historical research procces just check the D-Day 60th Anniversary commemorative edition DVD of Saving Private Ryan. If you like history and cinema you´re in for a treat.


-Carl Bennet. (2010, February, 27). In Retrieved 17 January 2014, from .

-TJWEST3. (2012, January, 05). In, Retrieved 17 January 2014, from


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