Today's Motion History is going to center on a historical setting over a historical story. So far, all but one of the films I've picked have had some historical figure or story at the core, even if the stories ended up largely fictional. I don't intend to just stick to real people and real stories, because I think historical fiction is worth examining too. It can be just as powerful as a true story, and it can be just as illuminating about the time and place in which it was made. It can also be quite damaging to people's perceptions of history, culture, race, and politics.

Also, I just really wanted to write an piece about Gone With the Wind. I love this film, even as I understand what's grievously wrong with it. There's a tendency now to politely ignore this film, as with so many other troubling racial stories, because we've "evolved" passed it. Well, we haven't. Not as moviegoers, and certainly not as a country. Some of the recent fanboy casting flaps indicate that much, and the root of the Tea Party movement is inherently the political belief that's at the heart of Gone with the Wind: Give us our country back. This country that, to quote the opening crawl, can be found "only in books, for it is no more than a dream remembered."

You see, this isn't a movie about the Civil War. It's about America's perception of the Civil War, particularly down South. And it's all about the 1930s.
categories Cinematical