Truth. It is the real facts about a situation, event, or person or the quality of being true, as described by the Cambridge Dictionary. But really this may not be one hundred per cent accurate as one person may have their own truth and experience that is different to the next person and same with the next and so on. We all have different perspectives. A quote told by Marcus Aurelius says “Everything we hear is an opinion, not a fact. Everything we see is a perspective, not the truth”. This exactly relates to the Film “The Sapphires” and the Book “Beautiful Boy”. These are both true stories and they both manipulate the truth in some way to the perspective of the person telling the story. In “The Sapphires” case, the truth is conducted and developed by the director and in “Beautiful Boy” the truth is told by the perspective of the father who is also the author of the novel.
This 2012 film “The Sapphires” tells the true story of four young, talented, aboriginal girls living in 1968 during the War in Vietnam. It follows the girls as they travel to Vietnam to sing and entertain the soldiers in the war. This film’s main issues that it focuses on is racism, identity and survival. Although this is based on a true story, this movie’s truth isn’t exactly the real truth. The movie is seen through the perspective of the four girls but is directed by Waine Blair who distorts the truth to entertain the audience. There are many ways in which Blair has manipulated the truth such as introducing a romantic and comedic storyline as well as scenes where the girls are in the middle of an active battle zone whereas in real life the girls would not have been placed in that kind of danger. This also makes the girls seem more courageous, that they would put their lives on the line. Real videos and photos are also integrated within the movie such as the death of Martin Luther King to give a contrast between the Indigenous Australian experience and the African-American experience. This helps with attracting not just an Australian audience but an American audience as well. Some other techniques are close-up shots and the use of sound to create a more dramatic effect. Diegetic sounds are used in some scenes when the girls are singing. It helps other actors connect with what is happening which then makes it more interesting and captivating to the audience. So although the story is true it has been altered and stakes have been raised for the audience.
The novel “Beautiful Boy” is told from the perspective of a father David Sheff who’s son Nic Sheff goes through many problems with illegal drug use, more specifically methamphetamine. Going back to the quote “Everything we hear is an opinion, not a fact. Everything we see is a perspective, not the truth” there are plenty of different perspectives that this particular story could be based off such as David Sheff’s wife, his young children or even Nic Sheff. Each person will have a different opinion on the situation so David Sheff’s truth IS the truth to him, but it that isn’t the case for Nic Sheff who was the person abusing the drugs. This novel focuses on key issues such as the fears, dangers and challenges of supporting a family and loved ones facing addiction. Some techniques that help support David Sheff’s truth are, telling the story from a first-person perspective to make the readers empathise with him. He does this by using personal pronouns like “I” and “me.” He includes stories from when he was younger and how he used to take drugs. For example “He handed me a tiny square stamped with a lions face. ‘It’s LSD,’ he said… At first, I was nauseated and immobile, but the pleasurable waves began through my body.” He also uses facts, statistics and quotes from scientists to back up his points about the dangers of drug abuse such as “A random sample of thirty-four hundred drug enforcement agencies around America… forty percent considered meth their most significant drug problem.” These techniques support the author’s truth.
To conclude, both texts represent their truth through different forms and techniques. Both “Beautiful Boy” and “The Sapphires” manipulate the truth to make the audience empathise and connect with the person or people the story is being perceived by. Everyone has their own perspective, not the truth. Everyone has their own opinion, not the facts.