Making History

That’s what we do, you and I. We make history. We also report history. Our lives are made up of minutia. We brush our hair, we do our laundry, we eat, we sleep, we work, we create history every day but not one that needs to be recorded. And sometimes, just sometimes, we are part of that which does need to be remembered.

But do we remember it correctly? They say that ‘history is written by the victors’. That was true at one time but now we have Instant Replay everywhere. Chances are our piece of history is going to be on YouTube somewhere. And we can’t escape that. Is that good for history or bad?

I once made the quip that memory is the ability to edit our lives. We all do it. We want to remember the good and temper the bad. I think that’s just human nature. But what about the times before cameras were everywhere? Did our history books get it right? I’d like to think so but there were no recording devices. We have people writing history from their memories about their opinions, their side. And that’s where I question whether or not truth is related in history.

Nowadays people go to the movies for their history lessons. Movies are made to make money. There is always a ‘based on a true story’ or ‘inspired by events’. Actors, Producers, Directors and the hundreds of people involved in making movies don’t do it for free. It can be a lucrative business. To that end they make changes to accommodate their narrative and often for financial reasons. And now I’m going to have a little rant.

In 2012 the movie Argo was released to widespread acclaim. It won several prestigious awards and it was a lie. I am Canadian and proud of my country. On November 4, 1979 the United States Embassy in Tehran was attacked and most of the Embassy staff were taken hostage. Six avoided capture and were protected by the Canadian Embassy and then ambassador Ken Taylor. He got them out of the country. It’s a Canadian story usurped. And that’s the history that will be remembered because it’s on the screen. And it angers me.

Oh, and one more thing that really irks me: Director Ben Affleck didn’t even thank the people that actually did the deed. He should be ashamed. I hope history remembers this part.

 

So how do we trust history when it is fed to us as entertainment?

24 thoughts on “Making History

  1. Dan Antion

    I remember reading a detailed description of all that went into your government officials getting our people out. It was a fascinating process. They thought of everything. I’m not familiar with the movie (which might be a good thing).

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
      1. Dan Antion

        Did you see the previous movie (more of a documentary)? I twas criticized for not having much action and having a boring ending. I guess we value excitement more than we value accuracy. Oh well, I think the Alamo movie had John Wayne blowing up the powder reserve (which didn’t happen in the real battle).

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Murphy's Law

    My thoughts exactly. Any history is merely someone’s version of the event(s) unless it’s been filmed and recorded. Even then, clever people can manipulate that film and audio to their liking. Someone like me would never know the difference.

    I never saw that movie. But in my opinion Ben Affleck is a fairly good looking moron, period!

    Your post is a well-thought out piece of writing. Thank you for posting it. Enjoy your day.
    🔹Ginger 🔹

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
  3. dweezer19

    I was fortunate in high school yo have an American History teacher who clued us in to the myths that we were learning in the text books in the name of soft but glory ridden ‘offical history’. He made me learn to question what so many take as fact just because someone in power days it is so. These days it doesn’t even matter if it is an imortant person. If it is spoken it must be so. Honestly I don’r enjoy history stories any longer due to the omissions and candy coating where historians choose to spread it. I really enjoyed the nearly dialogue-less movie The New World because of its portrayal of what I felt was the nearest to the truth depiction of the first immigrants to come to what we now call home. Many were theives, prison refugees and all were refugees of some sort. People will believe what makes them feel proud and comfortable rather than try to find the truth.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
  4. Annika Perry

    I’d be careful before accepting films based on real events as actual fact! There are so many points to consider before even looking at the events, first of all who is making the film, who are the target audience, who is funding the film..and so on. An interesting article raising some important points. I’ve never heard of the film or event your mention but I enjoy learning and researching so will read up.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
  5. eths

    You make a good point about films that are “based upon.” I think the producers say that so they won’t be sued, but does the audience realize that the script can take literary license to please the format and plot of the story?

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
  6. Valerie Cullers

    Yes, the Canadiens should be remembered for what they did. Unfortunately, those who make movies make it from the point of view of those involved in the situation. Were the Canadiens given any recognition for the part they played? If not, thank you for sharing that information with others!

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. quiall Post author

      Thank you for the comment. Unfortunately credit was not acknowledged by Mr Afleck until there was a public out cry. Future generations will remember his movie and he will congratulate himself. Some will remember the truth.

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
      1. Valerie Cullers

        We went to dinner at my son’s last evening and he saw the movie. He said that it was ALL about the courageous Canadiens and how they took the people into their home and risked their lives for the Americans. So, I guess he got the right take from it!

        Liked by 1 person

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