Date of Award

1999

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Communications Honours

Faculty

Faculty of Communications, Health and Science

First Advisor

Dr Brian Shoesmith

Abstract

The concept of this dissertation is to research specific filmic representations of historical situations, and to discuss arguments presented in Spielberg's Holocaust by critics such as Bartov, Hansen and Zelizer (1997), that popular films such as Schindler's List are unable to represent history to the same extent as traditional historical texts. I will also attempt to locate specific interest groups who reaffirm the truth claims of traditional historical narrative, the gatekeepers of 'historical truth', and to examine the nature of 'popular history', and how it is negotiated in the modern cultural sphere. I will analyse the concept of the 'unrepresentable' as it applies to Schindler's List and determine the socio-cultural impact of popular filmic history. I will discuss the' possibilities of alternative history such as those presented in JFK, locating the significance of popular negotiated forms of history and attempting to define the progressive elements in popular film representations. Finally, I will discuss the constructs of history and historiography as they relate to theories of postmodernity and metanarratives.

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