Sunday, November 25, 2007

The "Reel" Civil War 1.0



As part of our study of the Civil War, we will view clips from the 1989 film Glory. It is about the 54th Massachusetts--the first all-black regiment of the Civil War. Read more about the 54th here, here, and here (this link takes you to a reenactor group from Boston).



Whereas the video worksheet I provide will allow you to follow along, the primary task before you is to compose an essay in response to the film. This is not a film review, but taking Glory as your que coupled with notes, thoughts, and ideas from reading and class discussion, this assignment is an analytical essay that will address the role of African Americans in the Civil War.



A film and American history project at Lehigh University provides us with some helpful reading points, and discussion questions. Click here for the movie's website. Stay a while to check it out.

For Tuesday

So, for Tuesday's discussion, I'd like you to respond to the questions relating to film and history. Click here and scroll down to the questions ("Specific Questions About Film and History").




The Assignment: Pick 2 of the questions you think are the most important, and respond in the comments section. Then, answer this question: what is the most powerful and important "historical" film you've seen? Why? (It doesn't necessarily have to be a film related to U.S. history.)





For Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday
Prior to viewing clips from Glory, familiarize yourself with the film--specifically the filmography and synopsis, and most important the historical context. You may wish to check out the photo gallery as well. There may be another blog assignment for Friday. Stay tuned.



On Thursday or Friday we will talk in more detail about the specifics of the essay. The essay is due Monday, December 3.

[Photo credit here.]

60 comments:

Anonymous said...

What is a cinematic historian?

I believe that a cinematic historian is someone who looks at films or makes films to tell about events that happenned in the past.
-Jason S.

Anonymous said...

question #1
How do such films influence the future?
They remind us that we are all working together and the patriotism that comes from that cannot leave us. Then, we can continue to grow as a country when we are reminded of that patriotism by watching these films.

question#2
Why is history one of the required subjects in school?
Students should know about national relationships and the history of their country and other countries, as well. This gives everybody a chance to the world in a different light.

question#3
The most powerful and important historical film i've ever seen is La Amistad because it showed me that the slaves that early Americans treated as property were actually people that suffered more than anybody ever should. They were people deserving of freedom and equal treatment.

Allison Elliott

Anonymous said...

What is your definition of History?

I think history is events that happened in the past. It doesn’t necessarily have to be major or something that everyone knows about, it’s just something that happened and then is sometimes recorded in something.
Why is history one of the required subjects in school?
History is a required subject in school probably because it teaches our past usually about our country or some other country. It informs us about what happened and why society is the way it is today.
Movie
The most historical movie that I learned the most in is probably The Patriot. Just because I was interested in it and I actually paid attention. I learned a lot about the Revolutionary War and how much it affected the people living on the plantations, cities, and stuff. Also, about the conflicts with the British.

-Carly Calhoun

Anonymous said...

What do history films tell us about the past?

I believe that history films can tell us about events that happenned in the past and can allow us to have insight on events that affect the way we live our lives today. These could be things such as "Gods and Generals" which show us a good view of life in the civil war. If you think about it, the civil war impacted us in many ways...think about what life would be like today if the south had won the war? Would we practice slavery today? I look forward to discussing these subjects in class this week!
-Jason S.

Anonymous said...

Imagination by the historians is an important part their job. They must be able to picture events that happened thousands of years ago. On top of that they must be able to assist movie producers create a sense of realness to the film……The point of view and whose history we read makes a big difference in how it is interpreted. The British most likely have a different point of view than we teach in American schools…..The most powerful historical film I have seen is Mel Gibson’s “The Passion of the Christ.” It really put into perspective the amount of torture and pain Christ went through to save us. Brandon

Anonymous said...

Question #1 – How do such films make history?
The media is another form of expressing or displaying information to the public. Just as books, lectures, primary, and secondary documents make up history so does films. It is just another way to relating and expressing information. The films today make history because they discuss the past and have a lasting affect on the public. Many films have a true/accurate storyline or plot but in that there is of course some imagination.
Question #2- Does creative imagination destroy authenticity?
I think this question depends on how creative or imaginative the film is. There is a point where too much exaggeration could change the true of the plot. I think that some imagination is acceptable because even though things are recorded in history, not every detail is. So inferring situations and adding some reasonable creativity I think is no problem.
Question #3-What is the most powerful and important “historical” film you have seen? Why?
I would have to say La Amistad because it has so much symbolism in the freedom of man and shows how all men want to be free in society and find freedom within themselves. La Amistad gives a intellectual outlook and perspective of slavery in the united states and displays the hardships some people had to endure.
Kayla Adel
Period 1

Anonymous said...

Josiah Tour

What is your definition of history?
It is the study of the past and how it relates to today.
Why is history one of the required subjects in school? It is because kids have to learn what happened in the past so it can help them make better decisions in the future.

The film is Remember the Titans because I got to see how racism was really like in the old days, and it was fun to see how the players made friends.

Paige! said...

Question #1: What do such films tell us about the time in which they were made (their present)?
A. Cinematic elements such as the quality of the film, digital graphics, or even techni-color can tell us when the film was made. As technology improves today, the quality of the film industry is verily increasing! For example, one can easily tell the difference between the original of "The Wizard of Oz" and "Hairspray," because of the difference in advancement of graphics, etc.

Question #2:What cultural work do such films do in future time, after they are made?
A. Movies aimed toward a particular cause can often times affect the viewer, either positively or negatively. For example, after viewing the documentary "Invisible Children," I felt compelled to do something about the African refugees and kids forced into African camps!

Anonymous said...

Why have some such films become classics?

I feel that historical movies have become classics because they quench our thirst for knowledge about a certain situation or time in the past. At the same time, the stories these movies portray are exciting, morally sound, and easy to relate to because they are actual events real people went through like you and me. Therefore, people love to watch them time and time again.

What role does/should "creative license" play in historical films?

As a person who has enjoyed the privilege of using his creative license, it can some times better your work of art or misconstrue it at times. I feel that directors should only use their creative license to the point where it doesn’t change what really happened or corrupts the true meaning of an event. I watched World Trade Center and a documentary about it and found out that a joke that was told while the two officers where trapped in the rubble was not told in reality. The joke gave a good laugh, but at the same time it interrupted the seriousness of the whole thing.

-Jorge Cruz

Anonymous said...

What is your definition of history?

To me, history is a continuous, chronological narrative of past events, periods, and people.History provides a learning experience for us so that we do not repeat the same past mistakes as other historical figures.

Why is history one of the required subjects in school?
History is one of the required subjects at school because it is important to know about our country and our heritage. It is also important to understand the past to understand the present.

David Lim

Anonymous said...

History to me allows us to take a look back at our past and see how our present day life, society, and culture was created and the basis of our origin. History to me allows us to see past events and get a better understanding of what occured in generations before us. Like they say, if you don't know your history it will only repeat its self. I feel that history is very important for a culture whether a country or a race. Without history of your past I believe the race as a whole has no guidance and can't succeed. For a race to know their culture they can get a since of identity of where their people have come from.

Anonymous said...

the one above is me, ALYSSA TAYLOR. ALYSSA TAYLOR. ALYSSA TAYLOR. ALYSSA TAYLOR.

Anonymous said...

What is a cinematic historian?

I believe that a cinematic historian is a person that helps us to better understand certain events in history, or people in history by creating films that paint a picture of history.

How do movies make "us"?

Movies help explain events in history. The directors of these movies usually stand strong for an opinion. Sometimes movies can change our opinions or even create new opinions on events, people, or situations. These opinions are part of what make us "us". Therefore movies can easily determine "us".

-Shelby

Anonymous said...

Robert H.
What can we learn about history or the making of history through such films?
-In my opinion, there are 2 types of historical films, the ones that are historically correct in every aspect, and the ones that are historically correct in most ore some aspects. For me, through a film, i can only understand the basic historical facts of an event and not the whole main idea. For me, films are good for getting the basis of the historical happening.
Why should people interested in American history see such films?
-I think people should see these films because it is a fun, tangible, and easy way to get the idea of a historical occurrence. It is not the normal reading of a history book or an article.

The most powerful and important "historical" film that i have seen is The Patriot. I think it depicted the battle against the British well, with some flaws. I thought it was a little too dramatic.

Anonymous said...

Through different films, people can learn different aspects of the historical event being described. If some one would want to know about a certain event and would want to feel a more personal side they can find a movie on the subject. On many different historical events, the film makers put a personal twist on the story to make it more interesting. Certain films influence the future by their actions. If people in a movie see something happening, that they hopefully will not get the idea to perform the same bad mistake. An example would be with September 11, 2001. Now that people have experienced the horrific scenes of certain movies, hopefully people will not make the same tragedy happen again. The most important historical movie I have seen is Pearl Harbor. It interests me and I seemed to have compassion for the people. I felt a connection with the people of Pearl Harbor!
Kendall Burgess
2nd Period

Anonymous said...

#1: What is you definition of "cenematic history"?
Cenematic history is the telling of a historical event through the use of film. Producers feel that there is a specific story that the masses need to be briefed on, and the movie screen is the easiest way to do that.

#2: Does creative imagination destroy the authenticity?
Film directors have the license to use their creative ability in order to convey the plot as they believe is most accurate. Sometimes they abuse the license, but most of the time the end result compliments the main idea.

#3: What is the most powerful and important film you have ever seen?
This summer I saw All the Presidents Men not knowing mush on the Watergate scandal. The movie was very efficient in providing backround on the event and kept me interested throughout. Also Across the Universe helped me understand what life was like durind the Vietnam war while incorperating Beatles music in the add to the culture of that time.
-Staley Tomforde

josh w. said...

How do such films compare to other versions of history in film and other media?

The way history is portrayed in films is vastly different than it is in other forms of media. In books, for example, historical data can be compiled with great accuracy and in great detail, offering a cohesive picture of history that remains true to the events as they actually occurred. However, the production of a movie, due mostly to financial pressures caused by the costliness of the medium or creative license taken by the director, usually aims for techniques that will appeal to wider audiences and capture attention more easily while sacrificing historical accuracy, offering a less complete and sometimes dramatized version of historical events. On the plus side, films can make history “come alive” like no other medium can- by placing the viewer in the midst of the action in a decisive battle, for instance, or in the audience of an important historical figure as he delivers a powerful speech, people are able to experience history as if they were actually present there and are able to better understand the people and cultures of the past.

Does creative imagination destroy authenticity?

The terms creative imagination and authenticity are usually mutually exclusive, especially when applied to the realm of history and historical films. However, in such cases as historical movies in which the events described have passed out of recent memory, and the characters who took part in them dead, creative license is sometimes not uncalled-for when kept within realistic bounds. For instance, if a film offers insight into the mind of a historical figure, explaining the thoughts that were going through the character's mind or attributing certain feelings to him or her, there is no reason why critics should label it as inauthentic. Even if the director took creative license with such insights, they are no less “authentic” than anything that could be produced by a historian of another order; since the character is dead, the authentic thoughts which passed through his mind at any given time are inaccessible to anyone studying his life.

Anonymous said...

Do we learn something about history from film that we can't from other media?
I think that we do learn something about history from film that we can't from other media, and that is a more comprehendable way learning about the specific matter rather than just seeing pictures or reading interviews or articles about it. Film allows for a greater perspective of the event because films have the ability to contribute more to the story.

Does creative imagination destroy authenticity?
I think that depends on how much knowlege one has on the subject, because of one knows background and information on the topic from maybe learning about it in school or somewhere else then they would be able to tell imagination from reality, but to someone who has no prior knowlege then I would say yes, that creative imagination would destroy the authenticity.

The most powerful and most important "historical" film I have seen would have to be The Patriot. I absolutely loved that movie, still do, and enjoyed learning more about things that went on during the American Revoluntionary War and how battles were fought.

Hayden Smith

Anonymous said...

What role does/should entertainment play in such films?
If one were to go to a historical film without the entertainment, it would feel like one long lecture. Entertainment should be the icing on the top, because it adds taste without taking away from the actual facts of the historical event.

Does creative imagination destroy authenticity?
No, not necessarily. A film is created by a persons idea of what occurred. Obviously people visualize things differently, but the facts can still be true. Of course some directors add things to the film to draw interest, but you just need to be able to distinguish fact from fiction. If it is all fiction, then it really is not a historical film

What is the most powerful historical film you have seen and why?
One of the few historical films I have seen was La Amistad. What makes a film powerful is how strong the message is and the visual strength. La Amistad really portrayed its historical facts in a thought rendering way, and its message of slavery was easily sympathized with.

Sarah
1st Peroid

Anonymous said...

A movie can in fact make "us." by seeing a movie about the past it gives us correct historical information and we are able to see the past reinacted. Unlike reading about history where one infers what the text means, a movie shows you how other people translate history. By seeing a historical movie we are able to fix our mistakes and make the present day better. We as a community also become better people. Clearly, historical movies allow us to make our own translations and help us become better people.

Imagination can ruin the authenticity of a film. If a filmmaker adds his own ideas to the film just to increase its popularity then he has destroyed the authenticity of that historical documentation. However, if the filmmaker reads about a battle that occured and that in the documentation it tells that many people were killed. So, the filmmaker uses different weapons and adds special effects to make it better that is taking facts and making it real. A movie where the facts are not typically correct is National Treasure; however, in Amistad the facts are given and shown correctly and makes it a great film.

I agree with the facts and history of The Passion of the Christ by Mel Gibson. I believe this film has correct information and is a great representation of what really happened in the day and death of Chirst.
-Shannon Dodds

Anonymous said...

What is your definition of "cinematic historian"?
A Cinematic Historian is a historian who teachers and shows various historical events or people. The historian will use film to portray history instead of words in a book like most historians. A cinematic historian can use show us a history with our eyes and our ears while historians who write books can only portray so much through words.
What do films about history tell us about the past?
The films about history tell us about all most every aspect of past life. In a film there can be scenery, common life, natural practices, colors, different architecture, and other things that a person might not find through just reading a historical document.
What is the most powerful and important "historical" film you've seen? Why?
Gladiator is the most powerful and important “historical” film I have seen because of the epic action in the film. The movie has countless scenes of actions and the action and death really depict the gory lives of gladiators and roman time period.
-Davison C.

Anonymous said...

Question #1

Do we learn something about history from film that we can't from other media? I believe that having a visual like a film really helps us get the feel of what was going on in the time period and also helps to better understand what people went through. I am more of a visual learner so films really help to give me a glimpse of the certain situation. Especially now, with all the special effects and everything on films, we can put ourselves in someone else’s shoes.

Question # 2

Why do historical films trouble some professional historians? I think that some of the professional historians don’t exactly believe all the historical information in the film. Some historical films have their information of that time completely mixed up. Also some filmmakers don’t want to go exactly with what history says. They want to make a good film. So they might not always go by every fact.

The historical film that I found most interesting would be National Treasure. I know not everything is true, but I think that it is interesting how they use all of these different artifacts in the movie.

~Kirstyn D.~
Period 1

"The" Marc Rocha said...

#1 How do such films influence the future?
they remind the audience of their past and what they need to do to improve it.

Why have some such films become classics?
I guess they become classics due to their somewhat importance to society during that time period and the film's vitality to our future. But they're all usually lame!

I don't belive in strong and moving films because I'm not influenced by that "so-called" entertainment but to answer the question, The most important and powerful historical film I've seen was The Titanic. I have a man crush on Leonardo Dicaprio and he was awesome in that movie. The story of the Titanic was well portrayed by the director and I really enjoyed it.
p.s. Get on my level!!

Anonymous said...

What is your definition of history?
History is any event that has happened in our past.

What is a cinematic historian?
A cinematic historian is a person that uses films to tell about our history. Either a movie like La Amistad, or a documentary can be helpful to show important events that happened in the past.

What is the most powerful and important "historical" film you have seen? Why?
An influencial film I have seen is Across the Universe. It really hepled me have a better view on how life was during the Vietnam War and to see what the people during that time had to struggle through.
-Mary Kelley!

Anonymous said...

How do such films contribute to our knowledge of the past?- If the director has a great knowledge of the peice of history he is creating a movie about or if he has someone who does then the film could provide people with a good insight on what/how/when and many other things about the subject being covered, but it could also create a false idea for many if the director uses false info or vague knowledge to create the historical film.

Why is history one of the required subjects in school?- it is extemely important for one to learn of his and others pasts for it is important to understand where we are today and where we are headed or sould be headed in the future.

The most influencial/moving historical film that i have ever seen is "Invisible Children" because it shows the true inside of what is happening in Southern Africa. It brings to light the terrible atrocities that are taking place in these childrens lives, and i think it influences people that are luckier to help these people.

-The one and only... Cooper Smith

Anonymous said...

What is your definition of history?

The events in which happened in previous years
Important facts about the universe before our time

Do Americans need knowledge of history?

In my opinion yes we do need knowledge of history. This is because in order to fix the mistakes that have happened in the past/history we must know about them and then fix them. For example, WWII I highly doubt that they’re will be a WWIII because people presently work on the things that went badly and fixed them so that this would not happen again.

Serena Hudson

Anonymous said...

Does creative imagination destroy authenticity?
To some extent yes, because the producers want to incorporate extra stuff in order to make the movie or film cooler to their intended audience, and therefore makes the authenticity of the film not as accurate in context.
Why have some such films become classic?
Some films have become classics because the producers have made the movie cooler and more attractive but have still kept the authenticity of the film.
What movie do you like best?
I would probably say Black Hawk Down because in this movie, it just opens your eyes to extreme fighting that is going on around the world and the extent that we have to go through in order to keep the peace. And seeing these movies, it has taught me that freedom and peace comes with a huge price.

Anonymous said...

the one above is Josh M. my bad!

Anonymous said...

Question #1: What is your definition of History?

When I think of History I think of a chronological record of events. It’s facts of the past. Anything that one does today can be known as history. History can tell you about our ancestors, the United States, and tells you who one is related too. One thing that you cant do is change history, but you can definitely learn from it.

Question#2: Why is history one of the required subjects in school?

History is a required subject in school because I think it is a very important topic to discuss. It is important to know our past and what has happened. History helps form the future.


Question #3-What is the most powerful and important “historical” film you have seen? Why?

One of the most powerful and important history films that I have seen would probably have to be We are Marshall. This movie was very sad but at the same time very moving and inspiring. I loved how this school had to start from scratch and even though it was hard to start with a whole new team, they got the job done. It showed their determination and how they came together as a team and never gave up.


Kendall Shanklin

CB!hey! ha

Anonymous said...

Do films qualify to be called "history"? Can film-makers be called "historians"?

Yes, because many films tell us about the past and give us real information about what has happened in the past. If the movie is fiction than it is not "history". And yes I think that film-makers can be called cinematic historians.

What is a cinematic Historian?

This is someone who teaches history by making a film. They use real events that took place in history and make them into a movie or film.

Mary Martin

Anonymous said...

1. Is history just facts? What role is there for interpretation?
Much of the information people receive through history books or documents is composed of facts; but many documents that are considered historical documents are the opinions and ideas of figures from our past. History does not always have to be fact to be classified as history; someone’s story or legend can be recorded opinionatedly but still be considered historically significant.
2. Is history political?
Does history record the past of politics that include people and decisions, yes. But the question first asked is almost rhetorical because of how much or little we know about different events. Inaccurate history blocks us from knowing the truth. Having a source similar to our current media would definitely make history political; but proving whether our sources are accurate or not, hinders the answering of this question. Never being able to physically return to the past prevents total truth; thus, determining whether history is political or not in my opinion, is almost unanswerable.
3. The most powerful and important “historical” film that I have ever seen is “Gladiator.” Not because it was necessarily the most historically accurate film but because it helped my understanding of important “trade” during the Roman times. Gladiators were the entertainment for that era which also explains our present day attraction to big arenas that broadcast similar sports. It was a passionate film that portrayed that time period in an entertaining way.

Claire B.

Anonymous said...

Do Americans need knowledge of history ?

Yes, all Americans need to know about history to keep from making the same mistakes that were previously made.

Is history political ?

History is political in some aspects because history has been lost and changed due to communist parties and the victors in war are the ones who record history many times.

-Alec Beustring

Anonymous said...

#1
Why is history one of the required subjects in school?
I think that students can learn from past events and causes of specific events that had a negative impact in order to act in a more constructive way in society
#2
Do we learn something about history from film that we can't from other media?
I think we can learn concrete and completely factual events, figures, etc. more in history class than media b/c they can manipulate the story.
#3
La Amistad showed me the real journey of the middle passage. It seemed like it was very factual and not overblown.CONNOR W.

Anonymous said...

What historical people and subjects have film-makers chosen to treat? It seems that almost any person of historical interest has been chosen by film-makers. A lot of the films today are about people that aren’t very important but they can sell movie tickets. The better historical films have been about people who had an impact on their time and on the way things are now. Some of the better ones are movies on PBS where they don’t have to sell tickets but can concentrate on making a good history product.

What questions or answers does an audience take away from such films? When I’m watching a history film my first interest is who it’s about, what did they do that was important, when did they do it and where did it happen, at what time. But if the film is good and I start getting into it I start to wonder about the hows and the whys of how they did it and why were they motivated and did it effect what I’m doing now. Boring movies are facts only and good ones are about meanings and relations.

What is the most powerful and important "historical" film you've seen? Why? The other night I saw most of a movie called “Hotel Rwanda” or something like that. It was very powerful and I ended up watching it until the end – it was about the genocide in Rwanda some years back and it really showed the personal side of the murder and rampage of the people. It was gruesome and cruel and ruthless but I’m not sure that the film even was as bad as the real genocide was.

Kevin Smith

Anonymous said...

What is your definition of history?
history is about the things that actually happened in the past.

Why is history one of the required subjects in school?
students should know what happened in their own country and the world in order to give students a clear mind that can analyse today's envents objectively.
chen
I really learned something about the US history from Patriot.

Anonymous said...

What is your definition of history?
Understanding history is very important. When i was little my Mom and Grandfather would tell me how important it is to learn History. However, it is now that i truly understand how important it is to have knowlege of the past in order to understand current events and also events to come. Without a knowlege of the past it is impossible to understand why things that happen today are happening. In my opinion, History is a cycle so if we understand the past and present we will be able to predict future events.

How do such films "make history"?
Many times what we see in the movie theatre did not actually happen. Yet, Hollywood dramatizes the events inorder to achieve publicity. Producers know what movies will sell so they "fix" Historical events to match the expectations of the hoi polloi. I dont think Directors and producers care about educating people about historical matters as much as they care about having a box office hit and making money.

-- I really Enjoyed Amistad because it depicted the middle passage quite graphically. Just talking about a an issue as great as the middle passage does not help students understand the gravity of the issue. when i saw the pain, anguish, hurt, and anger of the negros I visualized the painstaking journey much better.

Mary Papasakelariou

Nikolas said...

Is history always in some sense propaganda?

Yes. Because depending on the source or who decides to record the information of the event the event will have different connotations or lights it is portrayed in. Every event in world history has two or more different sides compared to the view that is normally portrayed by whatever source is considered credible the existence of other views allows for the potential for questions to be raised about the legitimacy of the portrayal or how bias the writer was concerning the event at hand. The Egyptians at one time altered their history simply because they hated their late emperor so they purged his name from all records and all images carved of this ruler were destroyed as well in essence this person was nearly purged from history .The only way to have history recorded without question of intent or purging of details is through the eyes of an individual with no emotions or opinions which in turn provides the most pure opinion possible. But considering that no such individual exists history must be viewed from various aspects and accounts in order to gain a true understanding of the situation then a proper opinion can be formulated.

What role do artists have in the creation and transmission of history?

Artists have possibly one of the most prominent roles in terms of the transmission of history second only to kings and rulers of their era. Artists create new forms of expression and in turn new ways to interpret certain events. Artists ranging from Dante Alighieri to William Shakespeare have changed the way we view the world around us and the perception of right and wrong in some ways were effected by their writings and ideas. Dante’s ideas of heaven and hell and how unrepentant men are punished according to their sins and Shakespeare shows through the irony of life how evil deeds haunt those who commit them. Artists and their works play an extremely important role in introducing new ideas as well as new forms of opinion and ever changing perception of good and evil.

Anonymous said...

my definition of a cinematic historian is a film or movie director or producer that creates a movie based on true events, but one that depicts the story as it is, tells the full truth and does not necessarily add the hollywood twist to history.
Also on this topic on what do the filmamkers do to the historical figures, i think that they add a twist to their story, one that fits hollywood much better than the real story might have.
Chris duncan

Anonymous said...

my definition of a cinematic historian is a film or movie director or producer that creates a movie based on true events, but one that depicts the story as it is, tells the full truth and does not necessarily add the hollywood twist to history.
Also on this topic on what do the filmamkers do to the historical figures, i think that they add a twist to their story, one that fits hollywood much better than the real story might have.
Chris duncan

Anonymous said...

#1 To what extent do such films present history with "integrity"?
Historical films present history with integrity by telling the truth about all historical events depicted in the movie, without poetic rights and added information.
#2 How do such films influence the future?
These films influence the future by showing the public the heinous war crimes commited by people such as Hitler and even shows possible ways to prevent these acts from happening again. The movies in some ways prevent the evil parts of history from being repeated.
#3
One of the most powerful historical films that I have watched would have to be the patriot because this movie shows the valor and courage that the soliders had in the American Revolution, it also tells us that the patriot spirit should be carried on because of the positive qualities it gives to anyone that embraces it.
Nick Daniels

Anonymous said...

my film is 300 because it makes me more interested in that time period and the heroics of the Spartans, even though there was probably alot of things added by hollywood, it still is a pretty awesome movie
chris duncan

Anonymous said...

What is your definition of history?
History is the study of important past events and people by what took place in an area and background of important figures.

What is you definition of "cenematic history"?
A type of history that is explained through a film or video

What is the most powerful historical film you have seen and why?
i think the most powerful historical film i have seen is Apocalypto because of its great attention to detail.
-Houston

Anonymous said...

What is your definition of history?

My definition of History is past events, specifically those that help us understand and comprehend our present situation.

Do Americans need a knowledge of history?

I believe that every American should know a gist of his/her nation’s heritage and culture. In understanding this he/she has a better understanding of who he is and how the past can help him make decisions in the future.

David Lee

Anonymous said...

Do we learn something about history from film that we can't from other media?

I think that we do learn more from movies than from other media sources because it is easier for people to watch a movie, than to read a 500 page book or a newspaper article about the same thing. However, some of the facts in movies may be a little twisted which can make people look and feel stupid when they try to argue about something they watched in a movie.
How do such films "make history"?

Films like “Glory” make history because they expose people to a story that most of them have not heard before. And when people do watch this movie they are interested by it. If this movie wasn’t made I am sure that a lot less people would know about the 54th Massachusetts.

What is the most powerful and important "historical" film you've seen? Why?

The most important historical film I have ever watched is Black Hawk Down. I went to see it with my dad when it came out in theaters and when I walked in to the movie I had no idea what is was going to be about, but when it was over I wanted to know more. The History Channel had a 2 hour special about the true story and it had some of the real soldiers that were involved in the mission. That is the most powerful movie I have ever watched because it showed how our soldiers would sacrifice their selves to try to save one another.

David Jennings

Anonymous said...

Why have such films become classic?
Historic films have become classic because they are over real events in the past. It gives younger generations a chance to see life in the past and sometimes even relate to the story. People tend to like things they can relate to.. the more people liking the movie makes it more popular. Popular movies are watched over and over, making them classics.

Do films qualify to be called "history"? Can film-makers be called "historians"?
Yes, I think so. Film makers have to do alot of research in order to make a movie. They can't just start filming without any concrete facts about what happened in the past.

One of the most powerful movies I have seen is Remember the Titans. Since I wasnt alive when segregation was a main conflict, it enables me to see what it was like everyday on a common sports team. Plus, I love it when they all get fired up to play and come together in the end. Its one of my favorite movies! - J.Graves! (hey)

Anonymous said...

I think what historic films can tell us about the past is not always necessarily a massive chunk of histroy, but when put into movie form, it can make even the most of history seem critical. I like, however, historical movies more about the larger issues, especially ones that don't happen in the U.S., like Hotel Rwanda especially that in small parts dramatizes, but for almost all of it is based on what actually happened. However I think it's very important to know more about the thing that it is your watching before you start claiming you know all about the topic since sometimes movies movies can throw in things that arent necessarily true.

Cris 1st Period

Anonymous said...

What is your definition of history?
I believe history just means past.
Do Americans need a knowledge of history?
yes, because if you don't know your history then you a doomed to repeat it.
What is the most powerful and important "historical" film you've seen? Blood Diamond because it's a very moving film. All throughout you're just at the tip of your seat. Also because it's about what Africans are going through now.
Johnatan herrera

Doug said...

Question #1
What is your definition of history?
I see History as the study of important past events and people.

Question #2
Why is history one of the required subjects in school?
It should be a priority to help the young minds of America be familiar with where they came from. Also, to better help understand the world around them so they can further succeed.

The movie La Amistad, since i have now seen it twice, as it very emotionally describes and stages the middle passage. For what i have seen, this is the only 'footage' of the middle passage available to me, and this is what i think of now when i think of the second leg.

Anonymous said...

Or should history just convey facts?

I believe that history should not just convey facts because 'people are going to look at history the way they think it should of happened', so looking at one side of the story may be a bit biased and unfactual.

Richard Salinas

Anonymous said...

What is your definition of "cinematic historian"?

A cinematic historian is some one who analyzes historical films.

Ricahrd Salinas

Sam said...

Do Americans need a knowledge of history?

I believe that as Americans it is necessary to know about our past because it gives a sense of patriotism and pride in our country, without it we wouldn't want to protect our country from the violence of the world and our country is symbolic of our grandparents and the idea that our country was worth protecting.

How do such films influence the future?

Films show us that we have a history worth remembering, one that will tell us that we have fought for our country and it has worked for us.

-Sam Elliott

john said...

What is your definition of history?

my definition of history how past events and past people shape their world and ours today.

Do Americans need a knowledge of history?

Yes. They do need a knowelege of history or at least a little knowlege. I think this is important so that we won't repeat past mistakes expecially for those who have political power.

I liked the movie the patriots. I thought it was a very poweruful and important movie.

Anonymous said...

1.Does creative imagination destroy authenticity? I believe that there is a fine line limiting the amount of creative imagination involved in a historical film. It is definitely necessary for a certain amount of factual evidence to be included; however, no one really knows all of the details and in order to create a successful film, creativity is needed. Also, the amount of creative liberty taken should be stated in the film.

2.What is your definition of "cinematic historian"? A cinematic historian is one who takes a factual event, elaborates on it, and displays it in way that will appeal to and entertain the public.

3. In viewing The Patriot, I gleaned many things that I wouldn't have been able to only through a text book. The events came alive to me, and I will be able to remember them much better.

Sarah Adams

Matt Kreston said...

Whose history gets told? Whose doesn't?
I would consider history that we have been taught can get old really quick, or history that we are just not interested in. History that not as many people may know about are more interesting because its new ideas.

Why have some such films become classic?
Certain films can become classics for many different reasons. Citizen Kane is a classic because it was a completely different story line for its time period. Titanic is a classic because of the elaborate sets and technological breakthroughs.

I would consider my favorite historical movie to be Hotel Rwanda mainly because Don Cheatle did a great job in it, but it was also a really interesting story.

Anonymous said...

The most important film I have seen about history is Lord of War, with Nicolas Cage. It is about the trading and selling of war ammunition. I like it because it was very interesting and suspenseful. It helped me to better understand what goes on behind the scenes before, after, and during wars.
-Shelby

Anonymous said...

I believe that history is the record of all events or people from the past which could help us today.

I believe that everyone should know the nations history because we had many people in the past who fought hard for are freedom and we should definitly take time to study them.

Alaos i think that Amistad was a very good histrical movie because it showed the struggle and victory of the African American.
KENDALL STIEFEL

Anonymous said...

"What is your definition of history?" Well, when i look at this question, I conclude that history is the information, evidence, and stories that prove and explain the background of our nation. Though history was made so long ago, it is still used daily, whether we realize it or not, as evidence and information.
"Do Americans need a knowledge of history?" Well, I beleive that our nation would not what it is today if we did not refernce back to our founding fathers and the history of America. I definately would advise that every American would take intrest in what made our Nation what it is today.
The most intresting historical film i have seen is "Queen". This film was shot very recently, but retrospects alot on Princess Diana's life and death.
~Avery C.

Anonymous said...

1. What is your definition of History?

My definition of history is events that have happened in the past.History is not a specific person, place, or thing, but it is how all these effect each other. History allows us to move into the future.

2.Why is history one of the required subjects in school?

I believe History is required in school so that people now days can learn about the mistakes our nation ,or any nation, has learned in the past and not repeat them in the future.

3. A very influencial movie I have seen would have to be Pearl Harbor. Not only is it a love story, you get to see what the US armies were doing and how much of a shock it was when they were attacked. It was also cool because I have been to Pearl Harbor and they portrayed it very similar as to how it has been told.

-Jennifer Gurney

Anonymous said...

#1What can we learn about history or the making of history through such films?
Sometimes it is harder to learn about a specific time in history and films can make it easier. For some people it is easier to learn through watching things. We are able to learn what happened and maybe why it happened.
#2How do such films influence the future?
Sometimes we are just to busy to realize what we are doing. Racial profiling for example, many people judge people by their race and if they watched a movie like "remember the titans" or "friday night lights" they may be able to understand what other have fought for. Though those movies are about sports they are also about people having to over come stereotypes to be able to play together as a team
#3what is the most powerful and important "historical" film you've seen? Why?
An important historical film that i have seen is Remember the Titans. Although it is about sports it shows how many people had to overcome the battle of racism.

-Martha De Leon

Anonymous said...

I printed this out and turned it into you.
-logan h