REVIEW: Accuracy is key

Is the movie Green Book full of lies?


Estella Barrett, Staff Writer

The new film Green Book was a very influential story, Peter Farrelly really showed his serious side with this film. Farrelly is usually a comedian film director like some of his older films, ‘Dumb and Dumber’ and ‘Me Myself and Irene.’ The film won three Oscar awards, including best picture award of the year. The story of these two mens’ friendship was truly amazing. But after reading the reviews I realized maybe this ‘true story’ isn’t as truthful as it should be.

Green Book, is about a friendship that forms during a time of segregation. This friendship is between an Italian man (now living in America with his relatives), Tony Vallelonga, and an African American pianist, Don Shirley. Shirley wants to hire Vallelonga as a driver to protect him while on a tour in the South. Vallelonga and Shirley are faced with many obstacles during the tour, like not being able to dine at certain restaurants, or sleep at the same hotel. All because of the color of Shirley’s skin. In the movie, you notice that Vallelonga and Shirley have many differences and disagree on almost everything, and still ended up forming an unusual bond.

However Shirley’s brother claims that Shirley never considered Vallelonga as a friend after the tour. A couple of months after the film was released, Shirley’s family reached out and explained to viewers that Green Book is a “symphony of lies.”  Since the view of the movie is through Tony Vallelonga’s perspective they don’t tell the audience about Shirley’s past. Later in the film, Shirley says he is not in contact with his brother anymore, because of a fight they were in. However, his brother claims that they were definitely close and talked almost every week.

Viewers were also offended by the scene where Vallelonga teaches Shirley how to eat fried chicken. Maurice Shirley explained that his brother Don, was never taught how to eat fried chicken, because he already knew how, from their childhood.

Not many people know that Green Book was a real book, which was slightly mentioned to Vallelonga before tour. The Green Book was a little pamphlet for African Americans, it contained information about what hotels they could stay in throughout the South. The message of the book is not carried throughout the movie, which is what most people get confused about.

I never really understood what segregation was and how it affected people lives, until I watched this movie. I believe this movie gives a good understanding of what could occur everyday during that period of time. What you read from textbooks and seeing it happen visually is extremely different, and this film displayed it well. I do recommend this movie to people who want to understand segregation a little more. I have no regrets watching this movie at all, the only downside is the couple scenes that are not accurate. I had no idea they weren’t true until seeing many articles talk about it.

Other than the inaccurate scenes and lies, this movie is excellent and I have nothing against it winning three Oscars.