Social And Cultural Values In The Patriot: Film Research Analysis

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Research question: What were the social and cultural values held by the audience for whom the film you are researching was made?

This is an essential factor to consider when studying historical events and the impact such events have on the generations that are within the time frames they happened as well as on subsequent generations that come after. Films are a representation of media whose role is to bring information of certain eventualities into the eyes of the public and to offer an opinion towards the same opening up platforms of discussion and the debates, thereby engaging their audience. As opposed to other media sources that are purely based on factual information, which is accurate and straight to the point, films use different styles, which involve exaggerations and use of scandal stories to provoke specific arguments to the audience as a way of entertainment. This research analysis paper will use The Patriot, an entertainment film directed by Roland Emmerich. The believes and values of the audience of this film were loyalty and patriotism. They believed in freedom even though there were cases of holding slaves and slavery, for that was the main practice at that time.

The incredibly entertaining movie of a patriot is partly fictional and uses the American revolution war that took place in South Carolina as its background to illustrate a narrative in regards to how the war-affected families, willingly and unwillingly. The story talks of a South Carolina widower and planter Benjamin Martin (acted by Mel Gibson) who has seven children, and due to the past dreadful experiences of war witnessed in the Indian-French war, he opts not to be part of the American revolutionary war[footnoteRef:1]. He, however, finds himself in crossroads in 1776 when South Carolina vote for independence as his eldest son Gabriel (acted by Heath Ledger), chooses to join the continental army .he later is drawn into active combat when bring war to his doorsteps by burning down his home and killing one of his sons. Marin takes up the role of a commander of a local militia group and becomes a plague to troops by cutting their lines of supply and assaulting their places of settlement. Although the war is brutal to Martin and his men pay a huge price for being patriotic, they hold a crucial role in the defeat of and attainment of independence in South Carolina. [1: The Patriot, n.d. ]

Throughout the preparation and advancement of the movie, the director, Emmerich who is a German, and his production team that comprised of Mark Gordon as the producer and Robert Rodat as the screenwriter intensively consulted the then historian connoisseurs at the Smithsonian institution. The film was stirred in 2000 at a timeframe of Southern filming events of the American revolutionary war. The need to make the film a historic based to fit in this timeframe made the director and producers of the film research more on the culture, scenes, physical settings, dress codes and believes held at the time the Revolution took place making them read journals and writings on the colonial era extensively. Some of the characters were a representation of the real characters that were actively involved in the revolutionary war. Even though a bigger part of the film is pure fiction, the filmmakers had intended to pass a message on how the first modern democratic government was attained and the struggles those who participated underwent[footnoteRef:2]. The main messages underlying in the Patriot movie is the quest for independence of South America and the rampant slave trade that was witnessed. Also, it brings out the price one may have to pay to be patriotic to his/her country. The movie is drawn away from a complete history and mixed with fiction to bring a sense of entertainment and reduce boredom. [2: Ebert, Roger. “The Patriot Movie Review & Film Summary (2000): Roger Ebert.”, June 28, 2000. ]

Historical Accuracy

The film of the patriot is one of the films that was greatly criticized with many of its critics claiming that it was historically incorrect and that it missed most central themes. In this analysis, we believe that the fil was both correct and incorrect, considering several aspects. However, it can be seen that the inaccuracies were more. The movie is finely told, well-acted, and the nicely filming historical impression. The accuracy of the movie furthermore is seen in the effort of the filmmakers to consult historians and research on the colonial events that took place. The costumes, dress code applied in the film depicts that which was used in real-time at the time of the historical event. The setting and physical scenes where the film was shoot are a true representation of the historic places where the war took place; the plantations, the taverns, and colonial Charleston. Additionally, the Fort Carolina was well showcased, representing the several forts that built as defensive posts approximate to the plantation houses.

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Besides the movie is accurate, there are some purely fictional scenes and others exaggerated. The near the beginning panorama in the film where Martin kills close to twenty redcoat armies on his own is irrefutably unbelievable but exaggerated because locals were skilled in using their bayonets, making it almost impossible to slaughter them single-handedly. The appropriate and accurate approach was for Martin to use his neighbors in an attempt to liberate his son; however, this would have demeaned Gibson’s excellence.

Entrusted with bringing up a factional band to contain Cornwallis from advancing north in anticipation of the showing up of French armed force, Martin fights that the minutemen are ranchers who might be in an ideal situation avoiding the battle, which is just senseless. After the defeat of Charleston, groups of partisans steered by men who had worked for the Old English Cherokee Conflict (1758-61) jumped up crosswise over South Carolina and realized how to design a snare. The partisans, as a rule, battled against Follower units, yet the frightful common Southern war in the South had been had not been included in the story. In spite of Martin’s hesitations, the partisans butcher each power of redcoats that strolls into their ambushes. While the facts demonstrate that factional groups worked openly all through South Carolina, and the English just controlled the region inside their strongholds, the genuine Cornwallis was postponed by a fever that debilitated a lot of his military.

In the motion picture’s variant of occasions, the transformation is about lost from the time George Washington and the fundamental Loyalist armed force are being sought after by a northern English armed force, despite the fact that Cornwallis had annihilated the revolutionary armed force in the South. This is conspicuously bogus. The principle English armed force was hesitant to leave New York City and confront Washington. Albeit two dissident armed forces had been disposed of inside a quarter of a year ahead of schedule in the crusade, the renegades’ affluence had enhanced, and the English armed force in the South controlled just the ground underneath its feet. After Significant Greene seized order of dissident powers in the South, Daniel Morgan secured a triumph at Cowpens despite the dreaded mounted force administrator Tarleton, whose impulsive nature made him stroll into a snare. Greene, at that point, baited an English armed force on a debilitating interest crosswise over North Carolina that finished in a pyrrhic triumph for the English at Guilford Townhall on Walk 15, 1781. Understanding that the dream of enlisting a Supporter armed force in the Carolinas was just a delusion, Cornwallis relinquished the area and drove his messed up armed force into Virginia. Not exclusively is the circumstance purposely switched to make the radicals dark horses; however, Greene, the modeler of triumph in the Carolinas, is decreased to an appearance and Morgan, most likely the best war zone administrator in the agitator armed force, is just referenced quickly.

More so, the movies have a deficit of not portraying loyalists who, at the time of war, constituted a significant section of the southerner’s population in Carolina and Georgia. Also, the depiction of the African Americans and the slaves were misrepresented. In the movie, Martin is am the owner of a plantation and is seen employing blacks, yet in real event Thomas Sumter, the real patriot utilized slaves captured as a token of payment to his militiamen.

As a major desire to propagate the ideology that the local army won the Insurgency, the Continentals appear to exist basically to help civilian armies, so a key occasion during the last fight doesn’t show up in the film[footnoteRef:3]. All through the battle at Guilford Townhall, Cornwallis had seen that a multitude of redcoats was losing a pike battle in opposition to an equivalent number of Continentals. Dreading a radical triumph, he requested his gunnery to shoot into the focal point of the confounded mass of men attempting to execute one another, wagering that the redcoats’ control would give them a chance to change first. He was right, yet either the boss didn’t see the reasonable potential results, or it would have disavowed the primary employment given to the non-military personnel armed force. [3: “The Patriot.” The History Place – The Patriot: Movie Review. Accessed November 24, 2019.]

Emmerich’s employment of French armies in the southern campaigns and showing that they hated were incorrect. Even though a smaller existed no hatred and whenever they were captured as prisoners of war, they were well treated. and French army men conducted the war professionally, trying to kill each other with less animosity or brutality involved.


The patriot movie displays detailed insights into its audience concerning patriotism and nationalism. The movie majorly tries to bring into picture the need for a spirit of patriotism and loyalty to one’s nation. This blends well with the American culture as it is well known among Americans that being loyal to your culture is also brings out the theme of democracy as it is to why the war was fought; to gain independence from colonials. The themes of this movie can be compared to that of the Revolution that was directed by Hugh Hudson around the same period of events. Although a larger percentage of the movie was fictional, the message was accurate for its audience and the social, cultural beliefs and ideologies of the society adhered to and well met.


  1. Ebert, Roger. “The Patriot Movie Review & Film Summary (2000): Roger Ebert.”, June 28, 2000.
  2. The Patriot, n.d.
  3. “The Patriot.” The History Place – The Patriot: Movie Review. Accessed November 24, 2019.


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