Squealing tires and the metallic screech of cars colliding. You whirl around to find two cars crumpled into each other in the intersection. Moments later, the police arrive. As they question you and the other witnesses, you are surprised that everyone has a slightly different story. The red car was speeding. No, the gray one ran the red light. But wait, you are sure you saw a dog run through the road, and that’s why both cars swerved. Who should the police officer believe? And how can the police officer confirm what really happened?
Much like our police officer faced with a variety of different versions of an accident, historians (and history learners like you) also face conflicting information in their research of important events. Throughout history, there are numerous examples of how experts disagree on exactly what happened, when, and where. In short, not all sources of information are created equal. So claims need to be taken with a grain of salt and should be carefully verified. When faced with conflicting information, historians understand the importance of corroborating or confirming their research, by finding additional sources of supporting evidence—like interviewing multiple witnesses at the scene of an accident.
In this fifth assessment, you will apply your communication and problem-solving skills to determine the accuracy of a Hollywood movie about a particular historical event, movement, or person and corroborate historical information and interpretations. By practicing strong problem solving, you not only can ensure that you are looking at all sides of an issue (and that even marginalized groups have a say), but you can also better understand and bolster your sources to make a compelling argument. Outside of this course, corroborating information before you act in the workplace, or even in your family life, can help you solve problems faster and more effectively. It can also help you avoid making a decision based on subjective or misleading information.
What role do Hollywood movies play in educating the public about historical events or figures? How do we know what’s fact and what’s fiction when we watch these movies? In this assessment, you will put yourself in the shoes of a historian as you write an essay that analyzes a movie about a historical event, person, or issue.
Choose and watch a Hollywood film about an event, person (or people), or movement in American history. The film should not be a documentary. Choose from the list below, or contact your instructor if you have another film in mind. As you watch your movie, take careful notes, noting how the filmmakers use setting, dialogue, lighting, and music to portray the historical events, person, or movement. Once you’ve watched and taken notes on your chosen movie, locate credible sources about the historical events or people portrayed in your film. At least one of your sources should be a scholarly book or scholarly article from the Capella Library.
Possible movies to select: Movie highlighted below.
· A League of Their Own (1992)
· All the President’s Men (1976)
· Amelia (2009)
· Amistad (1997)
· Apollo 13 (1995)
· Battle of the Sexes (2017)
· Bonnie and Clyde (1967)
· Born on the Fourth of July (1989)
· Cesar Chavez (2014)
· Dances with Wolves (1990)
· Detroit (2017)
· Free State of Jones (2016)
· Gangs of New York (2002)
· Gettysburg (1993)
· Glory (1989)
· Hidden Figures (2016)
· JFK (1991)
· Lincoln (2012)
· Loving (2016)
· Malcolm X (1992)
· Matewan (1987)
· Milk (2018)
· Mississippi Burning (1988)
· Modern Times (1934)
· Norma Rae (1979)
· North Country (2005)
· On the Basis of Sex (2018)
· Platoon (1986)
· Rosewood (1997)
· Saving Private Ryan (1998)
· Selma (2014)
· The Great Debaters (2007)
· The Last of the Mohicans (1992)
· The Molly Maguires (1970)
· The Trial of the Chicago 7 (2020)
· Titanic (1997)
· 12 Years a Slave (2013)
Step 1: Summarize a movie about a historical event, person, or movement.
· Clearly identify the movie you are reviewing.
· Describe the main idea and key points and events in your movie.
Step 2: Analyze a movie to separate historical fact from fiction.
· Discuss the historical accuracies and inaccuracies of your movie, using credible sources for support.
Step 3: Explain the impact of a movie on the public’s understanding of a historical event, person, or movement.
· Address how your film might impact the audience’s understanding of the historical event, issue, and/or person. In other words, what are the consequences of the movie’s portrayal for our current understanding of a historical event, issue, or person?
Step 4: Describe changes that would improve a movie’s portrayal of a historical event, person, or movement.
· Explain how you would improve the film to provide a more accurate portrayal of a historical event, person, or movement.
· Also, consider any important information or perspectives missing from the movie. What information or perspectives might be added?
Step 5: Integrate credible sources to support the analysis of a historical movie.
· Identify credible sources about the event, issue, and/or people in your movie, and use those sources to support your arguments in Steps 2, 3, and 4.
Step 6: Write coherently with correct grammar, usage, and mechanics.
· Include headings (based on the steps above, which align with the scoring guide criteria) to organize your work.
Your submission should meet the following requirements:
· Written communication: Written communication should be free of errors that detract from the overall message.
· Sources: A minimum of 3 credible sources are required, with at least one scholarly book or article from the Capella Library. Review the previous assessment resources for information about how to determine the credibility of a source.
· Citations and formatting: Include a title page and reference page formatted according to current APA style and format guidelines. Review Evidence and APA for more information.
· Font and font-size: Times New Roman, 12-point.
· Length: 4–6 pages of text (in addition to the title and reference page).
By successfully completing this assessment, you will demonstrate your proficiency in the following course competencies and assessment criteria:
· Competency 1: Analyze historical resources to determine credibility and validity.
· Integrate credible sources to support the analysis of a historical movie.
· Competency 2: Determine the causes and long-term impacts of a historical event.
· Summarize a movie about a historical event, person, or movement.
· Analyze a movie to separate historical fact from fiction.
· Competency 3: Explain lessons learned from U.S. historical events and their potential influence on a current problem or situation.
· Explain the impact of a movie on the public’s understanding of a historical event, person, or movement.
· Describe changes that would improve a movie’s portrayal of a historical event, person, or movement.
· Competency 4: Address assessment purpose in a well-organized manner, incorporating appropriate evidence and tone in grammatically sound sentences.
· Write coherently with correct grammar, usage, and mechanics.