Movie Date: Truth or Fiction

It’s been said that truth is stranger than fiction. But when is fiction actually truth? Several Oscar-nominated films this season are inspired by true events.

And Zero Dark Thirty is facing some heat for its depiction of torture.

“It struck a lot of people, a lot of critics, as endorsing torture because it shows that the people who are on the manhunt for Osama bin Laden actually do get some valuable information by waterboarding people and torturing them,” said Newsday film critic Rafer Guzman. “That to me seems like a really shallow reading of the film, to say that just because a movie shows something on screen, it must automatically endorse or advocate it.”

Another Oscar-nominated film inspired by true events is The Impossible. In it, a family fights to survive and reunite during the Indian Ocean Tsunami. But the film does take some creative licenses. Beasts of the Southern Wild, on the other hand, isn’t exactly factual, but it’s been called a Hurricane Katrina parable. And Argo, nominated for seven Oscars, is based on the real rescue mission of six American diplomats during the Iran hostage crisis.

The Takeaway’s Movie Date Team share their thoughts on truth, fiction, and film.