Monday, June 08, 2009

Not making history

There was an interesting article in the Daily Mail last Saturday regarding the D-Day celebrations and the way the original event has been "Americanised".

There is no doubt that Hollywood blockbusters such as Saving Private Ryan and the TV mini-series Band Of Brothers are responsible for an unmistakable - and untruthful - Americanisation of the Normandy landings.

To be honest, I agree with most of what Ken Ford says - particularly about the average French citizen being eternally grateful to the British, American and Canadian men who sacrificed their lives to liberate France - but I do take issue over his criticisms of Hollywood. Yes, it is true that US films tend to overplay the role of the USA in the war, but as they are American companies making films primarily for an American audience then why shouldn't they?

The truth is that British film makers gave up making films like "Saving Private Ryan" decades ago - preferring instead to make dismal films filled with post-modern irony and/or leftist propaganda. Twenty seven years after the Falklands War we still haven't had a decent movie about the liberation and the incredible feats of our soldiers, sailors and airmen during that conflict.

Rather than blaming the yanks for the fact that many kids grow up today not knowing what part the British played in D-Day we ought to be wondering why our movie makers would rather celebrate the drugs culture, abortion or alcohol dependency rather than make films which tell the true story of the part played by British people in shaping history.

I should point out that this is in no way a criticism of the documentary makers who've made some very good programmes about our part in the war - such as "D-Day to Berlin" - but a more direct criticism of popular culture and the cinema which is, after all, where most kids get their ideas about history from these days.

1 comment:

Roue le Jour said...

Be nice if the little kiddies could learn about how Britain cracked the Enigma code too, and then go and look at one of the splendid machines used to do it. but oh no! they were all smashed after the war on the orders of our "allies" the Yanks.

US, 1.
EU, lost