Laura Chen 401110597
Composition and Conversation II─ Dr. Murphy
23 June 2014
Is Pearl Harbor a Fiction or a Real War?
Entertaining Purpose Makes Pearl Harbor Lose Historical Accuracy
There are many documentaries about the historical event, Pearl Harbor attack; however, none of them is more famous and well-known than the film Pearl Harbor (2001). When watching the film Pearl Harbor, audience can be entertained with compelling story and cool visual effects which are absent in documentaries. Conversely, Pearl Harbor would be too entertaining to be historically accurate, and it brings audience the wrong concept about Pearl Harbor attack. The film production of Pearl Harbor should be responsible for this negative result, because “most of our ideas about war come from watching movies” (qtd. in Operation Hollywood). In the case of Pearl Harbor, the film was made to be appeal to audience due to the production’s intention and the US military’s interest, and there are three techniques to reach the entertaining purpose: arrangement of focus, mapping real figures and events, and depicting selected events which result in historical inaccuracies.
The film production’s intention was to make this film appeal to audience with fictional story and presented the significance of Pearl Harbor attack, rather than depicting an historical documentary. As the director Michael Bay stated, he wanted to lure audience to get into this “idyllic lifestyle” through a love story which focuses on two young pilots’ stories with a beautiful nurse. Also as the producer Jerry Bruckheimer said, this fiction “would be interwoven with actual events” and he further conceded “as far as accuracy of the film, the film captures the essence of [Pearl Harbor attack]” (qtd. in Suid 649), in order to “pay tribute to the American heroes of Pearl Harbor” (Suid 658). However, Pearl Harbor received criticism from historians for its historical inaccuracies (Bay), it is misleadingly called Pearl Harbor to...