Gangs against New York

Portraying history in a movie allows filmmakers to make a point about a modern issue or promote an ongoing historical topic. Just exemplifying history in a movie, doesn’t depict the fact that it is accurate. “Gangs of New York ” directed by Martin Scorsese in 2002, and set in 1863, explains the Irish immigration and ongoing Civil War. This movie is quiet t historically accurate, but still has some minor inaccuracies. The movie starts with the main character’s story in 1 863, as he returns to the Five Points from an orphanage in which he spent most of his childhood.

Amsterdam Valon’s (the main character), father was a Catholic Priest, and leader of an Irish immigrant group called the Dead Rabbits. His father was killed by Bill ‘The Butcher’ Cutting, a Native American Protestant leader. Therefore, Valon returns to the Five Points to retaliate his father’s death by killing the Butcher. During his attempts, Amsterdam Valon fell in love with a Native “pickpocket”, Jenny. The film evolves with Amsterdam getting closer under his enemys wings and finally revealing his motives and identity, thus leading to the 1 863

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Draft Riot. Eventually, the Irish win because their leader kills the Natives’ leader. First of all, there are several reasons as to why the movie is historically accurate. The birth of the actual Gangs against New York can be credited to the Five Points neighborhood. This neighborhood became home to many Irish immigrants and the movie clearly depicted the hazardous living conditions of the area at the time. In addition, the movie accurately captured the hatred and cynicism towards the Irish by Americans or Natives at the time.

Americans saw Irish immigrants as threats to stealing their jobs due to their willingness of providing labor for a very low pay. The Irish were seen as lower or equal to Blacks to the Americans. The Bowery Boys, Broadway Boys, and The 40 Thieves were all realistic gangs that were mentioned in the movie. The movie used one of the most effective and protuberant Irish gangs in the five points during the 1 850s, The Dead Rabbits. Boss Tweed’s character in the movie was probably the most historically accurate as he was extremely corrupt and used politics and support of gangs as means of profit.

Even though the movie is quiet accurate, there are several minor inaccuracies present. The director portrayed over-excessive fighting and riots in Five Points throughout the movie. The fights in the movie portrayed inaccurate weapon use and inaccurate depiction of the involvement of the navy. The presentation of the Chinese immigrants also had some historical inaccuracy, which shows them as perfectly healthy and having their own community. In reality the majority of Chinese emigration came in 1869.

Basically, it is evident that the movie portrayed an average depiction of istoric accurateness at the time of Five Points in the 1850s. Not only were the characters and several events accurate, the portrayal of actions being taken by all groups involved at the time were on point. The director’s use of non-real characters and changing a few scenes were done as an act of keeping the audience watching in mind. The scenes were adjusted to appeal to the audience as much more interesting and eye-catching. The few historical inaccuracies do not prove that this movie has done any unjust to the events portrayed.

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Gangs against New York. (2018, Feb 03). Retrieved from