History through Film
In Larry May’s The Big Tomorrow, he wrote “there is nothing more American than Hollywood.” The motion picture industry loves to tell stories. Some of those films serve to entertain but most are commentaries on our culture, our politics, our society, and our history.
Films can educate us about our past but it can also twist it make it unrecognizable and distorted creating a myth that’s false or misleading. This is why I’ve come up with this category for the website. It’s a chance for me to showcase a film or a TV series (I’m a big fan of the series MASH) that is about our collective past as a country and as a people. I’ll talk about not just about feature films like Glory or Saving Private Ryan—which must be understand through what was happening in the world at the time—but about documentaries like Frank Capra’s Why We Fight series and other films made during Second World War that aimed to educate soldiers and civilians alike about why America was fighting. For me, no film is too current. Black Hawk Down is a good example of how the bungled mission serves as a lens to the danger of terrorism abroad.
It’s my intention to use this as an educational tool. I’ll provide bibliographies and links to videos when possible. I hope you’ll enjoy this journey with me.