Academic journal article Reference & User Services Quarterly

Inspired by True Events: An Illustrated Guide to More Than 500 History-Based Films

Academic journal article Reference & User Services Quarterly

Inspired by True Events: An Illustrated Guide to More Than 500 History-Based Films

Article excerpt

Inspired by True Events: An Illustrated Guide to More Than 500 History-Based Films. 2nd ed. Ed. by Robert Niemi. Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO, 2013. 607 p. acid free $100 (ISBN: 978-1-61069-197-0). E-book available (978-1-61069-198-7), call for pricing.

With the growing emphasis on media literacy, academics routinely choose feature films and documentaries to supplement their courses. But with the myriad of available media, how to choose? More importantly, how does one select a film that reflects and critiques rather than distorts or attempts to rewrite American history? Expanding coverage in his History in the Media: Film and Television (ABC-CLIO, 2006) from 350 films and film series to 500, author Niemi (professor of English and American Studies at St. Michael's College) narrows his criterion for inclusion to films that deal with an actual, documented historical incident rather than a treatment of the generic history film. The arrangement is chronological pertaining to the events the films depict and the entries range from roughly half a page to two pages in length with occasional illustrations. An extensive index is provided that includes film titles, actors, historical figures, and related events. When appropriate, Neimi offers a brief treatment of the discrepancies between the historical reality and the film's portrayal along with his assessment of the film's overall quality. …

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