K. A. Pital wrote: ↑
Actually, these topics can very much fit into the biopic, if you don't just end it with the winning of WWII, but explore it a bit further. Think about this structure for a potential film: first, Churchill's younger days in colonial wars, where his racist views are shown ("they must learn the superiority of race!") - then contrast this with his more mature, older position when he stands against the Nazis in Europe, saying that their politics are abhorrent. A good twist, the audience checks how the person has evolved from prior views. Then Churchill rises to power and WWII goes on. Sympathy at max! Then he wins and right at war's end we see him politicking to crush dissent in the crumbling Empire - again, sympathies of the audience are subjected to a test. He kills anti-Nazi partisans in Greece, tries to crush Ghandi, etc. At the end, you can show Churchill with the Saudi despots, and then you can truly understand that Churchill is pretty much the representative of the British Empire itself. Is he flawed as a man or is the Empire flawed? Boom! Viewers have to think a bit, but it doesn't really make the story less interesting or the visuals less cool, or the talk less real.
Those are events that aren't easy to fit within a movie timeframe. A mini-series of a full TV series would work, but I don't think you can achieve that when modern films are trying to get under the 2 hours mark.
Which is mostly done by lying and inventing history.
Mass appeal. Easier to make movies about stories the general public somewhat buys into.
There is a difference between "Abraham Lincoln the Vampire Hunter" and a biopic of Abraham Lincoln. There should be more rigour when making the second, and way more thought given to the actual events the person was involved in.
And Steven Speibery spent decades trying to work out a narrative about Lincoln that can fit within a movie timeframe. Yet it is still subject to overplaying and overdramatising stuff.
You could, though, tie it into a Churchill biopic in a way that would not be dominating the narrative, but would lend some ambiguity to Churchill's character. So far I haven't seen any reasonable explanation on why this couldn't be done. Or maybe not the Indian famine - perhaps the clampdown on rebellions? The attack on Greek partisans? There could be lots of stuff you could show to make it a more complex film.
Time and pacing. The more stuff you throw, the more issues you have with the pacing of the movie. Bio-pics are often seen by audiences as a slow-pace movie as they are. Adding more stuff will slow down the pacing of a movie even more.
But let's just drop this and keep Churchill and Europe alone as focus. Why show him as a "man of the people' when he clearly wasn't? He was no populist; and his unpopularity was a fact, he won mostly by using political skills at the top rather than at the bottom. No need to make a Trump story out of Churchill. It is silly and perhaps a worse ahistorical thing than even omitting his entire record in the colonies.
I think the whole man of the people issue has been pointed out by Churchill's grandson as well. The question is whether that scene ties within the larger narrative of this film's primary subject. The core narrative of this film seems to be primarily about Churchill's attempt to rally the British public into fighting on as opposed to surrendering. Scene are invented to tie into that particular narrative.
Is it historical? Not, but I think such a scene works to communicate the overall narrative of the film to the audience.
I know that, but it still does not excuse obvious errors. Representation can be more honest and still tight-paced.
No, I don't think so. Oliver Stone's Alexander is an example where an attempt to be historically accurate ends up dragging the pacing of the overall movie. Look at some of the Nelson Mandela's biopic for instance. Take the two Nelson Mandela's biopic as comparison.
Invictus (focusing on his presidency) vs The Long walk to Freedom. The former has a much tighter narrative because it doesn't try and document most aspects of Mandela's history. It has bigger box office success and better critical reception.
Three Kingdoms is an era where documentary sources are sparse, so reconstruction is hard. Fiction is popular. The Bible is popular, and it's pure fiction.
It's not hard to find more historical accounts of the three kingdom period. The official historical account of the three heroes does not idealised the characters as much as the Romance version did. Yet the later is far more well-read and popular.
I don't think that it is fair to compare a biographical picture of someone like Churchill, with ample memoirs, documentary sources, transcripts of the meetings and basically a schedule and note of his entire PM term, with an adaptation of a pure fiction book like the Bible, or Romance of the Three Kingdoms.
I think it's a fair basis of comparison because we can compare the historical account ( San Guo Zhi) with the mythic retelling of events ( Romance of the Three Kingdom). The Churchill people are interested in is not the actual historical persona that he really was. It's his larger than life aspect that makes him so remembered in the modern day.
Take other historical figures for example. Patton, Rommel and etc are all remembered for their larger than life personalities. Hence why fewer people are interested in stories of Eisenhower than say JFK.
Moreover, one sure can introduce fictional elements because a dramatic film often deals with moments never recorded, but when it's so obviously erroneous, it just doesn't feel right. Because the intent is also clear, and as I said, propaganda is what it is.
Films are always about constructing a very specific narrative than being a representation of the past. Even bio-pic of people alive today are often twisted beyond recognition to get the main narrative and themes across. FIlms are what films are. You are asking them to be something they are not.
I'm surprised you are so caught up in the idea of there being some sort of historical truth in movies.
Humans are such funny creatures. We are selfish about selflessness, yet we can love something so much that we can hate something.