Terry Gross’ interview with Ben Affleck
on Tuesday’s “Fresh Air” is a uniformly interesting discussion about the making of Affleck’s “Argo,” and the effort and ethics that go into bringing quasi-historical depictions to the big screen. But it becomes particularly interesting about halfway in, when Gross asks Affleck about his approach to handling history in a motion picture. He admits to taking creative license with the movie:
Affleck: It’s OK to embellish, it’s OK to compress, as long as you don’t fundamentally change the nature of the story and of what happened.
Gross: … As a viewer whenever I see a biopic or a historical film, I’m always wondering what’s true and what’s false, and what can I trust. Because I think movies that are historical have usually a dual goal, one is to like enlighten you about this really interesting story that actually happened and the other is to entertain you, because it’s a movie. As someone who is interested in historical accuracy and journalistic accuracy I know that movies aren’t journalism except for documentaries . . .
Affleck: Unless they say they’re journalism, yeah.