On the unwanted historical cultural revisionism

October, 16; 2020. By
These days, on Internet cinema platforms, a series of messages are appearing before certain old films that are shown in said providers, mainly American, mentioning that those films were made a long time ago and that their moral standards do not agree with the current. This medium believes that it is a correct approach to the subject, as we will now see, and is related to what is known as historical cultural revisionism.

In principle this is a sensitive issue since there are many people who are affected by these matters, as is understood, but it is not convenient to go crazy with it, since these people, we, have a certain discernment of what our current way of life is and the prevailing morality in our time, which is changing, with what happened in the past, or with what is happening in other parts of the world right now. To give an example that reduces possible exaggerated approaches to absurdity, we can mention that perhaps someone may think of destroying the pyramids of Egypt because they were built by slaves or not reading Arabian Nights because King Shahriar killed every wife he had at dawn, whom he had married the day before.

And to get into the subject, we can affirm that each artistic work, as well as having several readings in an intrinsic way, also has several possible interpretations depending on the time in which they were written or created. This has to do with the morals of each era or civilization, which is changing and about which we have already written previously in this publication. Well, we cannot demand that creators be absolutely perfect, or make works of art whose message, especially relative to some sensitive aspects of morality, is consistent over time, since we know that human beings are imperfect by nature and neither even the most seasoned artists get rid of this possible revisionism (later in this article we will mention a small list of works that "should be burned" according to the revisionist criteria).

To alleviate this defect that almost all works of art have, it is best to use, or dust off, the old "text analysis", or text comment, or analysis of an artistic work. This in literature is solved in a simple way, a brief introduction prior to the text in question that places us in the time and geographical place in which the work was broadcast for the first time. Each culture is sensitive to some issues and not others, some belonging to an eternal dispute over them, such as abortion, suicide, or other. Even today in some parts of the world it is accepted the marriage between a girl and an adult man and is well seen by that culture, when this is an absolutely reprehensible fact from Western morality, today. Therefore, it is convenient to have a little humility when approaching all these issues in any case.

In the movies, the short introductory videos or the simple mention of the year in which they were produced, as usually happens, or the country of origin of the film, are of great help to understand the circumstance in which that work was created.

To give examples, we can mention certain passages from El lazarillo de Tormes, which in the eyes of a sensitized North American could seem totally racist but in the eyes of Spanish black humor they do not seem so much (I am referring to the stepbrother who lazarillo has, a mulatto, and the very racist joke that is made at the beginning of the work; so harsh that the writer of this article withdrew said passage from his homonymous cartoon adaptation). We can also mention one or two pages of the entire production on Tintin, referring to the Belgian colonization of the Congo. We can also find some moments in "recent" American movies that are very sensitive to the subject of racism, that is, Gone with the Wind or even certain movie sequences produced by movie maker Walt Disney.

Therefore, to alleviate this little problem, which can be a virtue if viewed from another prism, it is convenient that the information adjacent to each work of art flows, that is, year and place of origin, historical context, mood of the work, etc. As we have commented before, it is necessary to dust off the old and reviled text commentary so that the works of art travel themselves, without being barely touched up, but with a solid added interpretation that makes us understand the historical situation in which it was written, and that therefore humanity as a whole can improve and advance, since human knowledge is based on past events, and eliminating them from history, as has been said many times, can make us fall back into these negative events that do not we want to repeat.
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