Since the first trailer dropped for the Michael Bay-directed 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi, it was clear that the film was destined for controversy. The handling of a terror attack on the American embassy in Libya, both by President Barrack Obama and would-be president Hillary Clinton, has been the subject of scrutiny since it occurred on September 11, 2012. From the look of the film, 13 Hours will place viewers in the heart of that day’s drama and likely leave many with fresh questions.
A new report from Variety highlights one of the reasons 13 Hours may prove so controversial:
[The film] opens with the message, “This is a true story.”
In other words, not “based on a true story,” but “a true story.”
That’s a bold claim. The filmmakers are standing by it.
“Probably the biggest challenge was remaining completely true to the events that transpired that night,” said producer Erwin Stoff. “Any time you are doing a real story or a true story, there is that temptation to say, ‘Well, it would be better if this would happen or that would happen.’ But there is not a thing in this movie that is not verifiable by two or more sources.”
In effect, the filmmakers are telling audiences that events seen on screen are exactly what happened. That could evoke a stronger emotional connection to the story which manifests in new calls for accountability.