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Visions of the Past: The Challenge of Film to Our Idea of History

Visions of the Past: The Challenge of Film to Our Idea of History

ISBN 9780674940987
Publication Date
Publisher Harvard University Press
Can filmed history measure up to written history? What happens to history when it is recorded in images, rather than words? Can images convey ideas and information that lie beyond words? Taking on these questions, Robert Rosenstone offers a direction in the relationship between history and film. Rosenstone moves beyond traditional approaches, which examine the history of film as art and industry, or view films as texts reflecting their specific cultural contexts. This essay collection makes a venture into the investigation of a concern: how a visual medium, subject to the conventions of drama and fiction, might be used as a serious vehicle for thinking about our relationship with the past. Rosenstone looks at history films in a way that reconceptualizes what we mean by "history". He explores the innovative strategies of films made in Africa, Latin America, Germany and other parts of the world. He journeys into the history of film in a wide range of cultures, and traces the contours of the postmodern historical film. In essays on specific films, including "Reds", "JFK" and "Sans Soleil", he considers such issues as the relationship between fact and film and the documentary as vision

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