The Crown: Challenging The Integrity In Art And Telling The Truth
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The Crown: Challenging The Integrity In Art And Telling The Truth

A breakdown of the episode "Assassins."

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The Crown: Challenging The Integrity In Art And Telling The Truth
Vulture.com

if you’ve seen the new Netflix series The Crown, you know that such a powerful time in history was portrayed in a very accurate way. The show did a fantastic job of making sure the story was told well. The particular episode that struck me personally was the episode “Assassins”. In this episode the Prime Minister (played by John Lithgow) receives a portrait for his 80th birthday. The episode features the time spent between Churchill and the artist and highlights a difficulty in seeing things as they are and seeing things as we want them to be seen.

The conversations had within these scenes are so incredibly telling. It is worth exploring the underlined truths that are coming out. If you have not reached this part of the season, or have not seen the show, please know that dialogue will be given so this is your “spoiler alert” warning!

In the beginning of the process, Winston Churchill and the artist meet so that the artist is able to observe and discuss his process of painting the picture, in which time, the artist takes pictures to reference and decides on a pose for Winston to maintain. One of the counter arguments is that Churchill would rather stand in order to be seen with authority. The artist disagrees to say that sitting would be a more natural pose as the painting is meant for “celebrating a certain age”. Clearly, right from the start, there is a variance in what the painting should be.

The next scene is one where the artist and prime minister share a similar difference of opinion and the artist finally has to say “I find that in general people have very little understanding of who they are-they want us to turn a blind eye to so much of oneself to get through life.” To which Churchill responds, “Just concentrate on the good and all will be well. You’re not just painting me; you’re painting the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom of Great Britain, and Northern Ireland and everything that great office represents-democracy, freedom, the highest ideals of government and leadership. Just remember that!”

Clearly Churchill has this expectation that the painting should depict a man of authority and leadership, yet is forgetting that such a role has had a toll on him.

The third scene that we see is the one where the artist and Churchill meet for the final time before the painting is to be revealed. In this particular scene, a really powerful conversation takes place to bridge the opposition of Churchill. The artist had taken some time to observe Winston’s own artwork, and Churchill did the same. In doing so, the artist observed in Churchill’s painting a pond and described that the painting held honesty, pain, and despair. It was in that moment that both Churchill and the artist admitted that their previous works of art were a means of grief as they both had lost children of their own, and had used artwork to facilitate their grief. Of-course as soon as they begin to find some common ground that is the height of their unity only to be brought down in the revealing of the painting. The interesting thing about this next scene is that you can find actual footage of what took place in real life on YouTube.

So not only do we know that the Netflix series honored what actually took place, but we get to see it reenacted tremendously.

The show suggests that Winston’s wife is the one who sets the painting on fire, though other sites suggest that it was actually her secretary that decided to set it on fire with the help of some of her friends. The whole scene (and the reality to which it is based on) is incredibly delicate. The job of depicting a man in his older age, attempting to honor his accomplishments is not one of envy, though it was a great honor. Churchill may have really struggled to accept the reality before him, which is where one can see the desire to paint a picture of himself that depicts the way that he feels as a leader, not the way that he may be at the time. Clearly the stakes were high for both the prime minister and the artist. The reality behind this small piece of history is that our expectations are not always realistic and being an instrument of truth is not always an easy task.

Netflix did a fabulous job with this episode. The actors truly articulated the battle of expectation in vision and perspective that takes place so often in life. I hope you’ve enjoyed this breakdown of the episode “Assassins” by the Crown. There is truly something to be learned from it and from this true history. Things may not always be as we would have them, but the honesty, the integrity, and the truth of our own lives is what truly impacts us as individuals and is something worth reflecting.

http://www.radiotimes.com/news/2016-12-16/the-crow...

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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