History Help

Film makers often dramatize historical events.  In some cases this dramatization involves placing fictional characters in a particular historical setting.  In other cases it involves portraying the life and times of actual historical figures.  These efforts are artistic and entertaining; however, they also raise many important questions:

1.  How historically accurate is the film?
2.  If there are inaccuracies, what accounts for them?  Is the director simply taking dramatic license in order to keep the story moving?  Are the inaccuracies designed to manipulate the audience’s understanding of history for political or ideological reasons?  Are the inaccuracies simply the result of carelessness on the part of the script writer and director?

With this in mind, your assignment in this Blog is to:

1.  Read the following “Re-Viewing the Past” articles in your text:

     A.  Black Robe (p. 46)
     B.  The Crucible (p. 76)
     C.  The Patriot (p. 138)
     D.  The Alamo (p. 316)
     E.  Cold Mountain (p. 428)

2.  Post your response to the following questions:

     A.  What reasons do your authors give to explain the historical inaccuracies in the films?  Give an example from one of the articles.
     B.  In your view, do the historical inaccuracies harm or help our understanding of past events and historical figures?  Explain.
     C.  In your view, do the historical inaccuracies harm or  help our understanding of the present (people or groups)?  That is to say, do directors use historical events and people to make a point about America and Americans today?  Explain.

GUIDELINES

Your score will be based on the following:

1.  Length.  Your response must include a minimum of one paragraph for each question (A, B, and C), a total of three paragraphs.
2.  The extent to which your response demonstrates critical thinking skills.
3.  The extent to which you addressed the questions posed by the instructor.
4.  Proper spelling and grammar must be observed (no text-speak).

Assignment Solutions