Historical accuracy. It’s one of the things movie buffs hope for when sitting down to a biopic, or a film “based on a true story,” and it’s one of the things that seldom holds true. It’s a tough when filmmakers don’t feel the truth equates to the best story, and then, excessive artistic liberties are taken in order to make a film really resonate with an audience. However, there are those films that stick tightly to their source material, and a historical retelling is the focus. Here is a shortlist of historically accurate films based on true stories.
7. The Pianist
World War II films are tough to pin down. They’re all-too-often reliant on painting Nazis as mindless pigs in order to really root for the good guys. Yes, the Nazis were pigs, but it’s a little more complex than someone just deciding to be an individual full of hate–sadly, it’s in human nature to drink the Kool-Aid, and commit the greatest of sins. The Pianist works well, because there is very little need to force the issue. Roman Polanski chose to follow the subject, Wladyslaw Szpilman, throughout warn-torn Europe, as he struggled to survive. This made for a fascinating biopic, holding tight to the memory and memoirs of Szpilman. The film was full of isolation, and painted an incredible picture of the silence, and haunting solitude associated with war. Sure, there were a few liberties taken, but mostly for the sake of production design.
Focus Features/courtesy Everett Collection