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AfriGeneas Military Research Forum Archive

Re: "Cold Mountain" Wash. Post Style Review

Hey Kathleen,

Its nice to hear from you. And I wanted to mention that I agree with your earlier comment about Cold Mountain that the thing that is too bad about the boycotting of it is that it is too little too late. How great would it be if on opening night at every theatre we had been out there with signs waking people up to the omissions and educating them so that if they were interested they might go out and look deeper. Sigh! Just too much to do!

This was a fascinating review of Enigma and interested me because I saw Enigma and all I remembered of it was some rather silly love affairs and spy stuff a la James Bond. So again I would say that Enigma was not true to the heart of its subject matter, and it's not so much the details that it left out that were important as it is that it made a somewhat serious investigation of the realities of code breaking into a rather silly and exploitative movie.

I do agree with the reviewers assessment of writing historical fiction - for movies or books, as being dangerous and basically impossible because good fiction and accurate history almost never go hand in hand. But for those of us who are going to try anyhow I think the guiding principal has to be to stay true to the heart of things. In the script that I am currently writing I know there will be many ommisions that will anger people because they will not be accurate, but I hope that there will be no ommisions that will matter deeply to the heart of the subject matter. So I will combine four army commanders into one, two forts into one, and have one character do actions that were actually done by another - all for the sake of dramatic cohesion and brevity. But I will not knowingly leave out any big issues that would have affected my characters at the time and I will paint as accurate a picture as I can of what I think it was like to be a Seminole Negro Indian Scout in the 1870s. That said, I'm sure that there will be people who will feel that I changed things I shouldn't have and left out things that I shouldn't have - and thats just how it goes. And if they chose to manifest their displeasure with boycotts or letters, I will nonor their right to speak up as they see fit and do my best to explain why I made the choices I did.
Now, I better get back to work or there will be no screenplay to protest!

Take care,


18 Dec 2002 :: 14 Nov 2008
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