“Selma has opened a very large and overdue debate over whether and how much truth the movie industry owes to the public,” writes Elizabeth Drew in The New York Review of Books. Drew points out that factual embroidery is common on screen and stage. The inaccuracies in Selma are, she says, a “reverse twist” on the on the overblown depiction of LBJ’s role in winning passage of the 1964 Civil Rights Act in last year’s Broadway hit All the Way.
Does the movie industry owe it to the public to get the facts right? That’s the question explored by Marc C. Carnes, historian and professor at Barnard College, in his article “Shooting (Down) the Past: Historians vs. Hollywood Author(s)“.
So notes Karen Rile at JSTOR. She nicely summarizes some important issues about “historical” feature films. Read her entire post, with links, at Getting historical movies right: Hollywood vs. Historians | JSTOR Daily.