Using Movies to Teach HistoryTicia Messing
Besides using movies in parenting, my family loves to use movies to teach history and get a feel for the era we are studying. It’s one thing to read about history but quite another to see and hear a character going through those events. As we watch, we pause the movie to discuss what we see and what it means in relation to our worldview.
For example, we watched the 1934 movie, It Happened One Night, and discussed the prevailing point of view then and how life was changing so quickly. The Samantha American Girl movie demonstrates both the improvements and the hardships factories brought to society through the eyes of a child protagonist.
Movies Reflect Opinions on History or Politics
If you watch movies set during World War 2 or filmed in that time or shortly after it, they show World War 2 as a noble thing. We were fighting for a righteous cause. World War 2 movies filmed now concentrate more on the tragedy of war, or on heroes who weren’t soldiers.
If you watch the MASH television series, you see Vietnam era politics coming out of the mouths of people fighting the Korean War. The politics of the time changed how the producers portrayed history. The creators of the show believed war was wrong, so their characters were not in favor of war either.
Movies and Television Portray our Worldview
Have you ever noticed how TV changes and reflects worldview? Consider the controversy of Laura Petrie’s wearing pants on The Dick Van Dyke Show. In those days, people worried about women losing their femininity. Another example is the change of family culture portrayed in The Brady Bunch when, for the first time on a television show, a husband and wife shared a bed.
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