October 1, 2023

The film “Patriots Day” is in question for its depiction of the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing and for releasing the film in November 2016, which some say is too soon since the real-life event occurred.

“Patriots Day” closely follows the true story as it portrays the cooperation between the FBI and various Boston police departments in their immediate investigation into the bombing and subsequent manhunt for the suspects, brothers Dzhokhar and Tamerlan

Dr. Mark Blincoe, assistant professor of history, said the sudden release of the film, three years after the event, is OK because it will remind people of the 2013 Boston Marathon and acknowledge the current state of American society.

“The event didn’t take place one or two years ago, and the movie is intended to resonate with contemporary issues,” Blincoe said. “I’m not one to shy away from contemporary issues.”

Madilyn Mortiz, sophmore marketing and graphic design double major, recognizes the film’s depiction of issues relevant to the today; however, she said there has not been enough time for the investigation to have a firm resolution.

“It is too soon and there are a couple of loose ends that still haven’t been tied up about (the investigation),” Mortiz said.

The Tsarnaev brothers claimed they were inspired to plant bombs at the Boston Marathon by their “extremist Islamist beliefs” as well as the United States involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan, which are all sensitive subjects today.

In regard to these issues, Sydney McKinley, freshman accounting major, supports the film’s ability to allow American viewers to evaluate and recognize issues that continue to affect the society in which we live.

“A lot of things should be brought to our attention instead of being played off,”
McKinley said. “It’s just remembering something that has happened.”

Critics have commended the filmmakers for their sensitivity toward societal issues as well as the actual event. “Patriots Day” manages to keep a striking balance between truthfulness and intensity without devolving into a story that seeks solely to shock its viewers through action scenes.

Even without its careful handling of the subject, it is not the first film made about a national crisis. “World Trade Center,” released Aug. 9, 2006, depicts the 9/11 terror attacks where nearly 3,000 people died. Although released nearly five years after the event, viewers still felt the staggering impact the attacks had on the nation.

Blincoe shed light on the difference time can make on the retelling of a tragedy.

“The farther removed you get, the more depth people can take with (the movie) unless there was someone who was personally impacted by it. Then, it may be troubling for the rest of their lives,” Blincoe said.

Though indisputably controversial, “Patriots Day” takes precaution when telling the events of the Boston Marathon. It is up to viewers to decide whether or not this precaution is enough to warrant its release in relation to the date of the events.

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