O Father, Where Art Thou? – Part 2: The Historical Epic

One Room With A View


From Ancient Greece to Star Wars, the Bible to Breaking Bad, throughout history the father figure has been a major figure in dramatic storytelling. This is especially evident in film, but in post-9/11 American cinema the father figure has often become notable by his absence. In this three part series I look at how the role of the father figure in American film has evolved in the 21st century across three genres: the combat film, the historical epic and the superhero film. For each, I ask: O Father, Where Art Thou?

– NB: This article contains numerous spoilers. –

In the first part of this series I looked at the father figure and its relationship to the ‘soldier-son’ in the combat film; but can these ideas be seen in other genres too, such as the historical epic?

In its golden age of the 1950s-60s, epics set in…

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