The Great Man in “Patriots Day”


I’ve been interested in response to Patriots Day, which I’ve not yet seen. Separate from the New York Times review by Glenn Kenny, a feature penned by the Times’ New England Bureau Chief Katharine Q. Seeyle offers the sense that Bostonians have their criticisms of the movie. Among them is the composite character played by Mark Wahlberg. To me, this popular response registers as a critique of the Great Man theory, a notion that’s been under scrutiny in Europe and North America since the nineteenth century.

Wahlberg’s image is being used to promote Patriots Day and this conceptual image is as well. The latter deserves more study than I can give it here. But, as we start a new academic semester this week and next, maybe this ad would be a good one to give to students of visual cultural studies.


Author: Jacqueline Francis

Writer, educator, curator, arts consultant, and occasional artist in San Francisco, California. Follow me on Twitter @JackieFrancisSF and Instagram--jackiefrancissf

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