History and Film Analysis

History and Film Analysis

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History and Film Analysis

Trailer. Embed the trailer of the movie in your post. If you cannot find the trailer, it’s okay to analyze that movie, but you need to indicate that you couldn’t find a trailer in your post. For the most part, you should be able to find trailers on YouTube. Instructions below.

2. Analysis. Write up a short analysis, minimum of 250 words. Rather than focusing on the film’s historical accuracy, you should examine the possible meanings generated by the film through its themes, characters, and perspectives as they relate to women’s history. You may use the questions below to help you think through your analysis. You don’t have to answer every question, but rather use these questions to guide your analysis.

3. Peer review. Comment on and suggest a grade for another student’s movie analysis by one week after the initial due date. Instructions below about how to complete the peer review.

Questions to consider for the analysis:

  • What issues does the event or person represented in the film raise about the place of women, gender and sexuality in U.S. history?
  • How are these issues represented in the film?
  • What are key scenes from the film where these issues are most apparent?
  • How does the film address race, class, and sexuality as well as gender?
  • How does the film challenge, limit or transform your thinking about the historical events  themes, and/or person(s) raised in the film?
  • When was the movie released, and how does the movie relate to its specific historical context?
  • Try to assess the intent of the movie: do you think it was successful?
  • Who directed and/or write the movie, and what’s their social identity (gender, race, etc.)? Do you think this impacts its message?
  • Does the movie feel empowering? Why or why not?
  • Last, but certainly not least, what criticisms do you have of the way the movie portrays women
  • Erin Brockavich (2000) about a white woman who fights environmental injustices
  • Selena, about the chicana singer


You must proofread your paper. But do not strictly rely on your computer’s spell-checker and grammar-checker; failure to do so indicates a lack of effort on your part and you can expect your grade to suffer accordingly. Papers with numerous misspelled words and grammatical mistakes will be penalized. Read over your paper – in silence and then aloud – before handing it in and make corrections as necessary. Often it is advantageous to have a friend proofread your paper for obvious errors. Handwritten corrections are preferable to uncorrected mistakes.
Use a standard 10 to 12 point (10 to 12 characters per inch) typeface. Smaller or compressed type and papers with small margins or single-spacing are hard to read. It is better to let your essay run over the recommended number of pages than to try to compress it into fewer pages.

Sample Work





The Rebecca Film Review

Rebecca sequence begins with the confession when Joan Fontaine enters the boathouse and terminates when Maxim receives the summoning him to the station. The story accentuates suspicion and this is particular demonstrated through the varying scenes and cinematic techniques. From the beginning, the theme of abusive relationship becomes evident. Furthermore, Laurence Olivier is presented as an individual being haunted by the past. Fontaine later uses an arrogant tone when addressing Florence Bates and this would indicate that the relationship between the two is dead on arrival. The audiences can easily follow into the troubles developed in the marital relationship and thus could predict that something bad is likely to happen at the end.

The theme in the film is developed through the dialogue between the characters. Besides, the scene presentations are also predictive in themselves. For instance, Max stares at the cliff to the Mediterranean and sees the swirling sea that shows the audiences his death wish. Furthermore, Max’s sister explains the love Mrs Danvers had for Rebecca and the scenes eventually fades away to black behind the face of Fontaine.

At some point in the film, Fontaine tells Olivia sarcastically that their marriage is successful and they are happy. The scene also shows element of desperation especially in Fontaine who eventually makes a whisper, I will go away. Also, Maxim eventually ends up in a police station over the suspect for killing Rebecca. Further investigations are conducted and it is later discovered that Rebecca had a terminally ill disease and thus the suicide verdict prevails. All the miseries evident in the film are as a result of the toxic marital relationships.

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