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The Patriot: The real story of Mel Gibson’s character is less glorious than the movie

When Roland Emmerich captures history, it’s not exactly to deliver works that tend toward poetry and delicacy. He does what he knows how to do, which is inevitably spectacular movies. And too bad if the historical facts are quite wrong and distorted.

mainly for hollywood “It doesn’t matter if the movie is true” said William Goldman, the brilliant screenwriter of The President’s Men. “It’s important that society sees it as the truth.”.

It is in this well thought out logic Roland Emmerich Look back at the American Revolutionary War 24 years ago with The Patriot. Heading the bill, a very angry Mel Gibson.

Resist the invader

the pitch South Carolina, 1776. Conflict between the Independents and the English seems inevitable. Benjamin Martin knows very well what war is and does not want it. This former hero of the struggle against the French and the Indians knows nothing of the violence of armed conflict…

Now a widow, she raises her seven children alone on her plantation. His eldest son Gabriel fights against his father’s advice. When the English troops, led by Colonel Tavington, arrive at the gates of his estate, it is too late…

Going after Mad Mel’s family is a very bad move. The English learned this quickly enough with Mel Gibson, who removed the hatchet (and pretty much anything he could get his hands on) and sent it away.D children Occupant in a pack of twelve. And as brutal as his William Wallace in Braveheart.

The original model, which is controversial

To write the character of Benjamin Martin, Emmerich modeled on someone called Frances Marion (who, by the way, is an even nicer name…). While being very careful with disturbing elements of the model…

Francis Marion, nicknamed “Swamp Fox”, is considered one of the fathers of guerrilla tactics, which he used during the American Revolutionary War. He was the official itch of the British troops in North and South Carolina in 1780-1781.

Portrait of Francis Marion in Brigadier General’s uniform

At the head of unpaid irregular troops who had to maintain their own equipment, he was known to be ruthless and terrorized those who remained loyal to the British crown.

An important figure of the period, his legacy is also mixed. He is believed to have been guilty of the atrocities and persecution he participated in during the Seven Years’ War (1756-1763) against the Cherokee Indians.

According to some sources, he had a reputation as a racist, hunted Indians for sport, and regularly raped the women who worked as slaves on his plantation…

Suffice it to say, a slightly sultry and embarrassing legacy for Emmerich, one he logically didn’t shy away from undermining.

Want to see (or review!) The Patriot? The movie is available on Netflix.

Source: Allocine

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