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Here's one, rather obvious: Gone with the Wind. Except for the specific characters and their interactions, the entire film is based on the American Civil War. Romantic as the movie's portrayal of "happy" slaves and benevolent masters may be, the scorn of house slaves for field slaves, the loyalty of many freed slaves to their former masters, the wooing of freed slaves by unscrupulous politicians, and the devastation of plantation economy are all drawn from reality. The burning of Atlanta, the horrors of wartime "medicine," the squalor and starvation of returning troops from both armies, the proliferation of widows and bereft families, the hatred of Confederates for Yankees -- these are drawn from the collective experience of those who endured them. Southern belles and country gentlemen were real; the rape of southern women only hinted at when Yankee boots clomp up a staircase was real; the ravaging of what few possessions the defeated southerners might retain -- these were based on history. Although parts of the film do ignore the ugly realities of slavery, most of it equates precisely with the collective experience of the generation who fought the Civil War and of the generation which followed and tried to rebuild the South.
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