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Should Movie Audiences Care That ‘Lost City of Z’ Presents Revisionist History?

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Should Movie Audiences Care About the Revisionist History in 'Lost City of Z'?
(Plan B Entertainment)


Sometimes, Hollywood revises history to make for a better movie. But how comfortable should modern audiences be with this taking of cinematic license asks the Washington Post in a recent article.

Prompting the discussion is the new blockbuster The Lost City of Z, starring Sons of Anarchy vet Charlie Hunnam. The actor plays British explorer Percy Fawcett, who is made out to be the typical adventure hero—and even the type who scoffs at his compatriots’ racist views towards the native peoples they meet on their surveying expedition in the Amazon.

But as The Spectator notes, this is anything but the historical truth. “[Fawcett] was a surveyor who never discovered anything, a nutter [crazy], a racist, and so incompetent that the only expedition he organized was a five-week disaster.”

The Post rightly asks, in an era when we are particularly sensitive about fake news and fact-checking, why aren’t we more outraged about this movie’s rewriting of the truth?

At the end of the day, though, as the story notes, “Movies … are primarily for entertainment and business. It’s risky to present audiences with a complicated hero who isn’t sympathetic. It’s not a movie’s job to teach us, even if some viewers misunderstand that.”

Watch the movie’s trailer below.