Films as Primary Sources for History Essay

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Films as Primary Sources for History If a picture is worth a thousand words than how much is a moving picture, or movie, worth? In the study of history, the usage of movies as primary sources is controversial. Motion pictures are more commonly well-known as sources and created for entertainment purposes. Film is a creation of a reality. This has some valuable resources for the study of history in many respects. They may or may not be representational, and some may include writing or printing. Some can be categorized as fine art, others as documentary record. Originality may or may not be important, and the content may or may not be the primary focus. History is made by people - in a sense that it is written by people positioned in time …show more content…
The weekly newsreels have now been replaced by the much greater immediacy of television. In essence, this is history recorded at the moment of its being made - a trade-off between the ultimate in immediacy and the lack of clarity that reflection and a broader time-scale would produce. Another form of film would be the historical series. These are the types of films produced for educational networks. They historically research a topic, choose how to represent it, and them produce it for a more or less mass audience. These films can prove quite valuable to the study of history for the elaboration of areas of interest. Also they are valuable in bringing to light aspects that many have been obscured before. On the other hand, the fault of these films lie in which information they choose to portray and not portray. Since they are produced for a mass audience, there are also concerns about them being produced accordingly, leaving out parts of information that may be pertinent in light of public interest. The films have the interesting position of being able to portray history in different lights, they are able to use a different medium to explore a topic, and also bring it to a broader audience. They can portray credability through emphasis and create villains as well as heroes. In the captialistic world of Hollywood arises the major motion picture. Created for mainly entertainment purposes therefore there is

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