To what extent does film influence people's perception of history and how may this benefit the heritage industry

Ismail, Lee (2005) To what extent does film influence people's perception of history and how may this benefit the heritage industry. MSc dissertation, University of Portsmouth.

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    Since the advent of film, a large amount of the general public's historical knowledge is provided by filmed entertainment. As a result, it may be argued that the film industry, and Hollywood in particular, have a responsibility not to mislead audiences and to face the reality that many people base much of their subject knowledge on what they have seen on the cinema screen. By examining four films in the war genre the degree of historical distortion can be determined and comment made upon how damaging this may be to public education.

    In the case of Braveheart, the effect of centuries of martyrdom on the character is seen to influence the filmmakers more than the actual historical evidence. In the most recent dramatisation of the Joan of Arc legend, the well documented life of the subject shows how accurate a film narrative can be with good research but also how accuracy can be affected when this careful research is not applied to all aspects of a film. In The Patriot, the aspects of a fictional story are examined to demonstrate how even in invention, when set during historical events, can affect an audience’s view of history. Finally, Glory examined to see how fictional aspects can be used with little effect on the history, while still presenting the message filmmakers wish to tell. As well as looking at the negative aspects of distorted heritage in film, the positive outcomes of this mass-market exposure will also be considered, including how the heritage industry may hijack the publicity generated by these films.

    Item Type: Dissertation
    Departments/Research Groups: ?? EDAM ??
    Depositing User: Jane Polwin
    Date Deposited: 01 Feb 2011 14:21
    Last Modified: 28 Jan 2015 11:17

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