Recently I watched the movie 13 Days and my immediate reaction to it was “My God this is a really good movie.” Although that was my immediate reaction, after the movie I noticed some small tweaks that weren't entirely factual. I could go on and on about what wasn't right about it like the author of From Ordinary Joe to hero of Cuban crisis wrote about, but I wanted to talk about how you can ignore and even avoid these so that you don’t get suckered into Hollywood's fantasies.
2. You don’t have to know everything
A Lot of people believe that they have to know everything about the topic to understand the movie. It’s ok if you don’t understand every second of the film. You're not going to get in trouble if you don’t get why the Russian secretary is crying in the Russian embassy. At first, I didn’t understand it. Actually, let me be honest, I didn’t understand a lot of it, but I asked questions and I ended up understanding most of the film.
3. Don't write a paper based on a film that isn't a documentary
If you are watching a historical film because you want to write a paper about the film or just about the historical content in general, don't base all of the historical content that you are writing about entirely on a film. Even if it is a documentary, getting more information for outside sources is always a good idea. This is essential if you a writing a paper because there needs to be some backstory and added information so you aren’t just taking from one source. Also, you get extra points if your essay has multiple sources.
And that right there are all of the tips and tricks that you need in order to 1) not get suckered into Hollywood's fantasies and 2) make sure that you know what you need to know before and after a historical movie. I wish you the best of luck on your movie watching madness!