I love some of Aaron Sorkin’s work, but I have to say, his attitude towards “truth” and or “facts” (please don’t conflate the two) is very irritating. On the one hand, he has characters who talk about the importance of facts in reporting factual information, and on the other, he writes movies in which actual events are replaced with fictional events, in order to make the story more “interesting.” The Newsroom was such a compelling argument for factual reporting, I really want to like the guy, because I think it’s sorely lacking these days. But then there’s Steve Jobs, and The Social Network.
I think if the facts and the truth are so important, tell us those things with minimal embellishment. I understand if you want to make a point that you might edit two wholly different time-frames together to reinforce whatever message you’re trying to sell, but having things happen in someone’s life that simply did not happen at all, in order to make a point about someone that doesn’t match the perception of anyone who ever met that person, then you’re just creating a false history that may get more traction than actual history. Don’t make stuff up out of whole cloth and then say “based on a true story”. Attenborough acknowledged when he made Gandhi that he couldn’t capture every moment, but he would do his level best to stay true to the spirit of the man, and, where he had direct information, he stuck to it. He didn’t have Gandhi meeting Hitler or any other nonsense.
If the TRUTH is so important, why don’t you use it?