Modern History Answer
· On Sheet
1) List at least four questions that historians need to ask to determine the usefulness of their source.
· It is important to recognise that the same critical analysis that is applied to more traditional sources: such as diary entries, articles and government records which should be applied to film and television sources. These include:
Are they bias?
What was their perspective?
Was there any organisation involved in supporting the production?
Who made the film or television program?
Above all, it is important to remember that film and televisions are reconstruction and historical interpretations.
2) Limitations of film and television as a historical source.
· As much as there are values for film and television productions, there are many limitations which hold back the constructions of these sources.
Behind every photograph of film is a creator with own personal biases and prejudices, which may be reflected in a work, either consciously or subconsciously
Audiences can be manipulated by the creator to convey a certain point or impress upon the viewer own conceptions. e.g. parts can be edited, parts can be cut out, certain details can be excluded, downplayed, certain details can be accentuated or focused on, angle the photographs are taken from naturally limit perspective and therefore can be used to create visual bias
The creator ultimately holds the power to decide the impression conveyed by the photograph or film (more important than the photographs is the photographer)
Tendency- for commercial reasons, to lack scenes which are graphic and interesting.
Cost- An example of this could be CGI. As this gives entertaining effects within the movie, each shot costs around 80k per shot. This can contribute to the number of limitations to produce a film or television show.
Another limitation can be amount of content they contain. A film can be limited as a typical film goes for about 2 hours. A film is also unable to present information such as footnotes, which allows authors to establish the identity and reliability of their sources.
3) Why are televisions shows and films useful formats?
· Watching a film or television show can be an easy way to gain historical understanding. In the recent years films and shows have become omnipresent and powerful media in terms of their use in historical investigations. Surveys have shown that more than 80 percent of people have learnt about the past in the previous year by watching a film or television show based on history. Some certain films are valuable for providing background information on contemporary controversial issues in power, engaging, and sometimes times efficient ways. Additionally, using films and show to support teaching about contemporary controversial issues is important because they can help students develop essential analytical and evaluate skills.
Historical films help our understanding of the past because they enhance our...