Film and Modern History (Fall 2017)

About this class

This course focuses on the use of film to portray modern history and the representation of the twentieth century through the medium of film. As one of the main ways that people access history, film plays an important (albeit sometimes problematic) role in the construction and representation of the past. This course examines how films construct a particular version of the past and how thsi informs our understanding of history and the events of the twentieth century. 

Algoma University
by ZDOSE on October 17, 2017
HIST/FILM 2907 Blog Post #1 - Zach Dose  

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Algoma University
by tombarry2410 on October 6, 2017
Film as a younger medium is an odd choice for historical use. With the first films being shown publicly only happening in 1893 there’s only just over a century’s worth of historical film to use which limits its usefulness in teaching history. As well as this film is flawed as a teaching tool in that sometimes historical accuracy takes a backseat to drama in an effort to make a profit.

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Algoma University
by mawan on October 6, 2017
Memories are generally constructed by one’s experiences of certain events, such as wars, natural disasters etc. Having firsthand experience is one of the best ways of understanding history, as we will know the graphic details of certain events, such as the Sabra and Shatila massacre through the eyes of Ari Folman and his former comrades.

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Algoma University
by asmith2017 on October 6, 2017
No matter how dramatic or grandiose some historical films can be, many people take them for face value and believe them to be historically accurate. Of course we know that this isn’t true. But for myself and tons of people, we get pulled into the popular culture historical films and I believe that hey do heavily influence our understanding of history and historical events.

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Algoma University
by shu1_1226 on October 6, 2017
 Nowadays, some schools teach history by serving films. They serve films to students in the history classroom and tell what happened in the past in the world instead of opening a history textbook. There are two purposes why films are served in the history class.

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Algoma University
by Matthew Siklosi on October 5, 2017
Historical films affect and construct our understanding of history by being a medium in which the greater public engages with history. A good historical film should not only accurately represent the event or period but also pique the viewers’ interest. Just calling a film “historical” doesn’t make it so. Unfortunately a lot of people will think a film is an authority on a subject because it is “historical” or “based on true events.” This means that viewers and film makers have to be careful with historical films.

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Algoma University
by yukiinoue818116 on October 4, 2017
Question 6: What purpose does film serve in the history classroom or in the telling of history?             Some people may say that films are just films, and they are just for entertainment. However, I believe that films serve the purpose of going into people’s minds automatically, and especially when they want to study, they are very effective. Films are something that people have watched definitely at least once in their lives. Films are somehow related to our lives. We sometimes watch them for fun, but sometimes they are for studying.

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Algoma University
by STEPHEN KREYENBUHL on October 3, 2017
For me personally, film can serve as a major tool in learning or telling history in a classroom setting. There are things lectures and slideshows are simply incapable of accomplishing that a film can accomplish on a regular basis. The first film that comes to mind that backs up this claim is Waltz with Bashir. The film is able to reanimate the story of the soldiers that fought within the Lebanon War in 1982. The point is that film makes history come to life.

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Algoma University
by eug22 on October 2, 2017
Who doesn’t love watching movies in a classroom! When the teacher tells you that you will be watching a film today in class, you’re ready to get the popcorn out and put your feet up while others plunge into their seats - half of them paying attention while other snooze or text. We can imagine this because we have all been there at one time or another.

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Algoma University
by GillianMaskell on September 20, 2017
2. A number of the films deal with issues of authorship and whose voice should be used in telling a story. Whose stories are being told in films (or in a specific film) we watched in class? Who should tell these stories? 

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by mdigs23 on October 6, 2017
Algoma University
The purpose that film serves in the history classroom or the telling of history is its use it has as a teaching device. Films allow students or audiences to gain a different prospective on historical times or events. The message that each film or story teaches can vary depending on the information given, the topic, the event, the time, the place, or the person at hand and on a person’s ability to draw his or her own conclusions from that particular film or story.

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2 months 3 weeks ago

Gillian: over all a good initial reaction to the film, though I am not sure if documentary is the right term for it! By that I mean it was self reflective but one-sided, maybe it was my reaction to it being animated.

I will look to see what the cultural reaction to the film in Israel was upon its release. Especially in the current political climate in Israel this would not be a film that is looked upon kindly. But do not get me started on the current attitude of Israeli's towards Palestinians.

One thing that I would like to find out is the actual attitude of the local Lebanese Muslim population towards the refugees.

Reply to: Blog Post #2
2 years 2 weeks ago

As you know we have been tasked with commenting on 2 blog posts, I have chosen yours. Your post is very well written. and you have very strong arguemnets, so I don't really have much to add, just suggests to improve arguements, or strengthen some you already have. The first being from the section of "What happens if we disagree with a specific law?" You stated that "Laws are set out to defend our rights and freedoms and because of them we live in peace and harmony in our societies," But aren't laws also inplace for things such as our safety? As well, laws are in place to prevent such things as legistlators from creating laws that aren't beneficial to Canadian's but to their own agenda. Another thing, we are not just born and know that we have to obey the law, but we are taught, how are we taught to obey and follow the law is a question that could be added.Just little details like that, though, the response to this question was very well written!

Another thing I want to look at is your statement from the arguement from the question "Are we obligated to obey the law all the time or are there circumstances where it is acceptable to disobey or disregard the content of a law?"
you stated that "here are certain circumstances where it is acceptable to disobey or disregard the law, in a situation where your life is at risk then a citizen has a right to protect it in a manner that may infringe on the life of the unlawful person." What is that certain circumstance where it is accceptable to disobey the law?

Reply to: Blog Post #2
2 years 2 weeks ago

In the answers to the first question of "Why do we obey the law?" I have just a few questions about some of your statements that could either further your statement or even improve it such as the question where you said that "The reason as to why we obey the law is because we were raised and taught to do so. Most parents/caregivers teach us at young ages that we need to follow the laws because there could be consequences if not," but how are we taught this by our parents or caregivers? As well you also said that "Another example of a law that people are to follow is stopping behind a school bus. This law is more abided by because this could put kids to harm/risk if not followed," couldn't underage drinking be just as "harmful or risky" as not stopping for the school bus could be?

As well as for the second question "Are we obligated to obey the law all the time or are there circumstances where it is acceptable to disobey or disregard the content of a law?"Again I have just a few questions about some of your statements that could either further your statement or even improve it such as the question where you said that, "I believe that we are obligated to obey the law all the time. If there was a time in which we were able to disobey the said law, than there would be no point at all in even having the law there anymore. People would abuse that if were the case. I do not think that there is any times in which it is acceptable to disobey the law because it could potentially put others to harm if not followed." But aren't there certain cases everyday where people disobey the law? Such as a person going over the speed limit, even if it is just be a simple 5 or 10 over the limit, a law is still being broken isn't it? Or another example that you mention, underage drinking, also downloading music illegal, the list goes on and on.

Reply to: Blog Post #2
2 years 2 weeks ago

In the answers to the first question of "Why do we obey the law?" I have just a few questions about some of your statements that could either further your statement or even improve it such as the question where you said that "The reason as to why we obey the law is because we were raised and taught to do so. Most parents/caregivers teach us at young ages that we need to follow the laws because there could be consequences if not," but how are we taught this by our parents or caregivers? As well you also said that "Another example of a law that people are to follow is stopping behind a school bus. This law is more abided by because this could put kids to harm/risk if not followed," couldn't underage drinking be just as "harmful or risky" as not stopping for the school bus could be?

As well as for the second question "Are we obligated to obey the law all the time or are there circumstances where it is acceptable to disobey or disregard the content of a law?"Again I have just a few questions about some of your statements that could either further your statement or even improve it such as the question where you said that, "I believe that we are obligated to obey the law all the time. If there was a time in which we were able to disobey the said law, than there would be no point at all in even having the law there anymore. People would abuse that if were the case. I do not think that there is any times in which it is acceptable to disobey the law because it could potentially put others to harm if not followed." But aren't there certain cases everyday where people disobey the law? Such as a person going over the speed limit, even if it is just be a simple 5 or 10 over the limit, a law is still being broken isn't it? Or another example that you mention, underage drinking, also downloading music illegal, the list goes on and on.

About the author

Institution

Class Subject