History is the subject of a profound interest from the part of filmmakers. However, the representation of history by different filmmakers differs consistently because either filmmaker has his/her own interpretation of historical events and, what is more, either filmmaker has his/her own, unique representation of history. In this respect, it is possible to refer to two documentary films “4 Little Girls”ť and “Eyes on the Prize”ť. Both films refer to the turbulent epoch of 1950s-1960s, but the representation of that epoch by filmmakers differs consistently.
At this point, it is worth mentioning the fact that “4 Little Girls”ť and “Eyes on the Prize”ť have a different structure. The latter constitutes of fourteen-hour series while the former consists of one part only. In such a way, “Eyes on the Prize”ť comprise a series of interlinked events which are connected by the common plot and themes. The use of fourteen-hour series allows the director of the film to convey a large view on the historical events related to the development of the Civil Rights Movement in the US. The audience perceives this historical narration as a proof of the fact that the Civil Rights Movement was an organized movement, which stood on problems affecting many Americans, who were discriminated and deprived of equal rights.
In addition, “Eyes on the Prize”ť is more focused on historical facts than “4 Little Girls”ť where the director provides rather his own interpretation of historical events, namely the Baptist Church Bombing than conveys precise, objective historical facts as the director of “Eyes on the Prize”ť does. Actors in “Eyes on the Prize”ť looks like puppets which the filmmaker uses to tell the history, while actors of “4 Little Girls”ť have their own personalities, they are meaningful, autonomous individuals.
Thus, the director of “Eyes on the Prize”ť uses an accurate historical approach, while the director of “4 Little Girls”ť brings in some elements of fiction in his film. This is why the former is more effective on conveying the history, while the latter is more compelling because the attempt to personalize characters prevents from objective narration of history.