Guerre - Michael Saleeb HIST 300 Guerre A October 7, 2007...

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Michael Saleeb HIST 300 Guerre A October 7, 2007 Emerging Complements: The Screen and the Book “This is a true story,” a phrase which signifies a historical account, especially in film. History influences the plot and the characters in these films. However, do these “historical” films accurately portray the life, customs, characteristics, and events of the past? Historians use primary sources in order to frame their conclusions of the past. They look to letters, legal and spiritual writings, and stories passed down the generations. Through analysis of these primary sources, and help from other secondary sources, historians make judgments about events and lifestyles on their particular study. Historian Natalie Zemon Davis analyzed a number of primary documents to create a theory on peasant life in France. Her expertise in the area led her to becoming a historical consultant for a film depicting the story of Martin Guerre, a sixteenth century French peasant. Her work on the film brought her to question how history is presented in visual media. Although she was the expert on sixteenth century peasant life, she did not have final say in the film. This created differences that she believes takes away from the accuracy of the account. In response to the film she wrote The Return of Martin Guerre to describe the differences and expand her theory the events that transpired. Through analysis of the film and her book, comparative strengths and weaknesses arise from the differing forms of historical account. Although visual history portrays a sense of the past that written from fails to do, written history allows for a more accurate and detailed account of the past. Written history and visual history serve as complements to each other in portraying the past accurately. Historians often look skeptically on the media’s constructions of history. They have seen
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This note was uploaded on 11/17/2008 for the course HIST 300 taught by Professor Seip during the Fall '05 term at USC.

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Guerre - Michael Saleeb HIST 300 Guerre A October 7, 2007...

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