Can films be used as historical evidence? Do historical films make good or bad history? Are documentaries more useful to historians than historical drama?
Written from an international perspective, this book offers a lucid introduction to the ways films are made and used, cumulating with the exploration of the fundamental question, what is history and what is it for?
Incorporating film analysis, advertisements, merchandise and internet forums; and ranging from late-nineteenth century short films to twenty-first century DVD ‘special editions’, this survey evaluates the varied ways in which filmmakers, promoters, viewers and scholars understand film as history. From Saving Private Ryan to Picnic at Hanging Rock to Pocahontas, History Goes to the Movies considers that history is not simply to be found in films, but in the perceptions and arguments of those who make and view them.
This helpful introductory text blends historical and methodological issues with real examples to create a systematic guide to issues involved in using historical film in the study of history. History Goes to the Movies is a much-needed overview of an increasingly popular subject.