NTC: Portraying War in Film: Historical Films and Interpretation

Programs for Teachers
Newberry Teachers' Consortium
Wednesday, November 9, 2011

9:30 am - 12:30 pm

Room 101

Viewers of historical films often focus on questions of authenticity, asking whether a film has portrayed “accurately” what “really” happened during a historical event. Filmmakers certainly claim to present authentic history, spending lavishly to re-create the past by establishing the proper “look” of historical settings. Despite these truth claims, most films are filled with numerous anachronisms, simplifications, blatant errors of “accuracy,” and purely fictional episodes. Instead of merely critiquing inaccuracies, though, viewers need to consider the historical interpretations developed by films, assessing precisely how the filmmakers portray historical issues, societies, and events. This seminar will explore these questions of historical interpretation through the sub-genre of the war film. Participants will consider film representations of the experiences of war in European history and discuss the issues, experiences, horrors, and violence of modern warfare as presented in war films depicting European conflicts.

Seminar led by Brian Sandberg, Northern Illinois University

Newberry Teachers’ Consortium is a subscription program open to Chicago-area teachers.

See More Like This