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HIST283 Film and History


Film is a powerful tool when it comes to representations of the past, frequently commanding more popular authority than the works of scholars. Books take a long time to read: movies or documentaries are consumed within a matter of hours. But what makes a film 'historical'? Film can reflect the present through the use of the past. Films made in the past offer an interesting insight into their contemporary culture. Documentaries appear to offer historical 'truths'. Film has been used to promote the views of the state through propaganda. Using selected examples, this subject examines film as an interpretive tool in historical representation and the use of film as a source of social history. Six films will be screened in the subject. History, rather than the medium, is the focus of the subject.

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