Is The Movie Free State Of Jones Accurate? Director Gary Ross Makes It Easy To Find Out

Is The Movie Free State Of Jones Accurate? Director Gary Ross Makes It Easy To Find Out

There’s no doubt we’ve all went searching in Google while watching a “biographical” movie at some time or another. Usually we do this to find out more about the portrayed subjects, but mostly because we want to separate fact from Hollywood fiction.

For the upcoming American war film from STX Entertainment, Free State Of Jones, director Gary Ross not only understood moviegoers would be doing this, he went out of his way to make it easier.

Free State of Jones Accurate

Matthew McConaughey and Gary Ross discuss a scene in the bunker. ©2015 STX Productions, LLC. All rights reserved.

STX Entertainment created a separate website for the movie Free State Of Jones, dedicated to helping those interested in the film understand where and why they may have fictionalized the story of Newton Knight.

When moviegoers visit, they will be greeted by the sites forward where Ross explains “We felt it was important in an historical movie, especially a movie about such a crucial time in history, for the audience to know what was true and what was fictionalized“.

Following the brief explanation here, visitors move on to the prologue where the 59 year old director expounds further on his goal in supplying this information directly.

“We have attempted to footnote, substantiate, and justify not only the literal incidents depicted but also those fictionalized, arguing that they adhere to real facts about the era. We feel that where we have fictionalized, not only are we faithful to the larger history of the period, but in many ways we hope to illuminate it. In other words, we have fictionalized only to express a deeper truth—the essence of both the war and Reconstruction—and we substantiate that in these notes”.

The site is quite exhaustive, with 35 sections that include photos, information, footnotes and links to the original sources.

Related: Free State Of Jones Starring Matthew McConaughey

The value of providing an adjunct resource for moviegoers for movies like Free State Of Jones, is two-fold; On one hand it keeps people from getting the wrong information through their own web search, leading to falsy accusing the film of inaacurecies – and on the other, adds weight to the film’s ability to educate as well as entertain.

“Some things need to be invented in a movie, but most things in Jones were not. I think it’s only right that you be able to tell which was which”. – Gary Ross (Director)

Free State Of Jones opens in theaters Friday June, 24th.



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Wayne Andres

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