“I think the artist has the right to interpret and re-interpret history and the events of his time (Oliver Stone)”. Discuss this statement with reference to Good Night and Good Luck. George Clooney’s Good Night and Good Luck is a docudrama set in the 50’s during the rise of television. A docudrama is a film narrative based on a real time or event. This docudrama follows the true battle between a Mr Edward R. Murrow a well-respected CBS news reporter and Joseph McCarthy a junior senator from Wisconsin, who is blinded by patriotism and obvious hatred for communism.
Murrow goes “straight at” McCarthy and targets his terrorism towards suspected communists and publicly denotes him for convicting civilians without trial in an era when the fourth estate was only used to “distract, delude, amuse, and insulate” and not show the reality of the world. Docudramas can provide a powerful way of showing past events. A docudrama gives the audience a greater insight into the time and events by getting beneath the surface as the artist has the right to remake scenes that were not documented.
Critics of docudrama say the medium is merely a form of entertainment and has no credit in being used as a form of education as the director can pick and choose what goes in and scenes has to be fabricated.
In the case of Good Night and Good Luck, Clooney gives a balanced view of Murrow, leaving McCarthy and Murrow both losers in the end. In the opening scenes Clooney provides us with an interpretation of the 50’s which later reveals what lies beneath the surface.
The characters appear at Murrow’s press club to be laughing and joking giving the impression of a facade of happiness between the co-workers. In reality, we later learn these reporters are willing to tear each other to shreds and steal each other’s jobs in order to get to where they want to be. This was a way of life in the fifties where everything had to seem normal and happy on the…