Ed Driscoll

Black And Whitewashing History

To get a sense of just how far movie attempting to recreate true-to-life events can distort the truth, check out this post by frequent Pajamas-contributor Kathy Shaidle. It’s primary subject is a film about the “Montreal Massacre”, which Mark Steyn describes thusly:

Every December 6th, my own unmanned Dominion lowers its flags to half-mast and tries to saddle Canadian manhood in general with the blame for the “Montreal massacre,” the 14 female students of the Ecole Polytechnique murdered by Marc Lepine (born Gamil Gharbi, the son of an Algerian Muslim wife-beater, though you’d never know that from the press coverage). As I wrote up north a few years ago:

Yet the defining image of contemporary Canadian maleness is not M Lepine/Gharbi but the professors and the men in that classroom, who, ordered to leave by the lone gunman, meekly did so, and abandoned their female classmates to their fate — an act of abdication that would have been unthinkable in almost any other culture throughout human history. The “men” stood outside in the corridor and, even as they heard the first shots, they did nothing. And, when it was over and Gharbi walked out of the room and past them, they still did nothing. Whatever its other defects, Canadian manhood does not suffer from an excess of testosterone.

As Kathy explains, perhaps the least of the problems with the purported docudrama is that it’s shot in black and white, even though the shooter’s rampage took place in 1989. (“Yeah, the 80s were totally in black and white”, she jokes. “Remember that? It made laundry so much easier…”). But in addition to deconstructing this black and whitewashed movie, she also deconstructs an unintentionally absurd newspaper article about it, filled with dozens of classic bobos-in-paradise hyper-sentimental buzzwords.

One quibble–Kathy writes:

Somebody put this article in a time capsule for posterity — this precious example of brainless, default progressive “thinking” must be preserved.

Because it is the default mode of thinking, particularly within the legacy media, it seems likely that the florid emotionalism that drives that mindset will be around for an extremely long period time.

Related: Of course, film is far from the only medium which distorts history–Robert Stacy McCain explores “‘The ransom note method’ of quotation”, here.