Last night we watched Shine, the intriguing 1996 film about David Helfgott directed by Scott Hicks. Biopics are a particularly intriguing genre to watch from a psychoanalytic perspective. They are movies about actual events, actual people, and they are narratives that tell a story – and reveal greater truths. They have to hold together as a movie or – from my perspective – as a dream, for them to work, thus the successful biopic – or for that matter the successful historical movie of any sort - will sacrifice biographical details to achieve narrative integrity. Shakespeare’s “historical” plays set an early precedent for this, though I think the tradition probably goes at least as far back as Sophocles' Oedipus Rex.
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