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Letters | The ring of truth in fact-based films

Since when did we adopt filmmakers as our truth-tellers?

Navy SEALs are seen through the greenish glow of night vision goggles as they prepare to breach a locked door in Osama bin Laden’s compound in a scene from “Zero Dark Thirty.”

JONATHAN OLLEY/COLUMBIA PICTURES INDUSTRIES

Navy SEALs are seen through the greenish glow of night vision goggles as they prepare to breach a locked door in Osama bin Laden’s compound in a scene from “Zero Dark Thirty.”

In reading Ty Burr’s excellent article (“Truthiness and consequences,” Page A1, Feb. 24) debating the extent of literary license exercised in movies based on true events, such as “Argo,” “Lincoln,” and “Zero Dark Thirty,” I was reminded of Cassius’s observation in Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar. If we are not sufficiently well informed to be able to separate fact from fiction on our own, the fault lies not in the film directors and writers, but in ourselves.

When did we forget that movies are entertainment? When did we raise our expectations for filmmakers and adopt them as our truth-tellers?

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Technological advances have made it easy to blur facts and fiction, news and entertainment. This increases the onus on us to stay better informed, vigilant, and, above all, discerning.

Vivian Tseng

Concord

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