CNCC film series examines history | CraigDailyPress.com

CNCC film series examines history

Bridget Manley

David Johnson, a history and English instructor at Colorado Northwestern Community College’s Craig campus, stands in front of a scene from the 1927 film “Metropolis,” which Johnson used in his 20th century world history course. Johnson is scheduled to moderate the campus’ fall historical film series, which kicks off Sept. 16 with a screening of “Schindler’s List.”





David Johnson, a history and English instructor at Colorado Northwestern Community College's Craig campus, stands in front of a scene from the 1927 film "Metropolis," which Johnson used in his 20th century world history course. Johnson is scheduled to moderate the campus' fall historical film series, which kicks off Sept. 16 with a screening of "Schindler's List."
Bridget Manley

If you go…

What: Colorado Northwestern Community College Craig campus fall historical film series

When: 7 p.m. Sept. 16 and 30, Oct. 14 and 28, and Nov. 11

Where: CNCC Craig Campus room 185, 2801 W. Ninth St.

— The film series is free and open to the public.

The Lineup

Movies to be screened as part of Colorado Northwestern Community College's fall historical film series at the Craig campus:

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"Schindler's List"

— Year: 1993

— Running time: 195 minutes

— Rated: R

— CNCC showing: Sept. 16

— Audience rating of 3.5 stars or higher: 96 percent*

— Plot summary: German businessman Oskar Schindler comes to Poland at the beginning of World War II to make his fortune as a war profiteer. But, what begins as a purely business venture turns into a secret humanitarian effort as Schindler uses his factory as a means of saving Jews from Nazi concentration camps.

"Gandhi"

— Year: 1982

— Running time: 191 minutes

— Rated: PG

— CNCC showing: Sept. 30

— Audience rating of 3.5 stars or higher: 91 percent*

— Summary: An experience with ethnic prejudice on a South African train compels a young Mohandas Gandhi to launch a campaign of non-violent protest for the rights of Indians in South Africa. Gandhi later uses the same message of non-violence to help India gain independence from British rule and to try to bring peace between Hindu and Muslim populations in India.

"Rabbit-Proof Fence"

— Year: 2002

— Running time: 94 minutes

— Rated: PG

— CNCC showing: Oct. 14

— Audience rating of 3.5 stars or higher: 85 percent*

— Summary: In western Australia in 1931, three half-caste girls escape from an Australian settlement designed to "re-educate" children of mixed Aborigine and white heritage and train them to be servants. The film also follows A.O. Neville, the government official charged with handling aborigine issues, and his efforts to track the girls down.

"The King's Speech"

— Year: 2010

— Running time: 118 minutes

— Rated: R

— CNCC showing: Oct. 28

— Audience rating of 3.5 stars or higher: 93 percent*

— Summary: King George VI, the father of Queen Elizabeth II, reluctantly assumes the title of king after his brother abdicates. An eccentric speech therapist helps the new king overcome a speech impediment and become the voice of the British Empire as World War II unfolds.

"Goodbye Lenin!"

— Year: 2003

— Running time: 121 minutes

— Rated: R

— CNCC showing: Nov. 11

— Audience rating of 3.5 stars or higher: 91 percent*

— Summary: East Berliner Christiane Kerner goes into a coma in 1989. When she awakes eight months later, the Berlin Wall has collapsed and East and West are on the cusp of reunification. Christiane's son, Alex, is caught in a difficult predicament as he tries to hide the truth from her to protect her from a potentially fatal shock.

Source: http://www.rottentomatoe…

For two hours, moviegoers sit in a darkened theater, immersed in a world they've only read about in history books.

Lush scenes, ornate costumes and dramatic revelations make the past seem real and immediate.

Then, the credits roll, and everyone gets up to leave. A few may linger, though, hungry to learn more about what they just saw.

In David Johnson's view, this is exactly what a historical film should do.

"I think the best role film can play … is to get people asking questions about history," said Johnson, a history and English instructor at Colorado Northwestern Community College's Craig campus.

Johnson hopes to foster the same reaction during a historical film series he's moderating at the college this fall.

The film series kicks off Sept. 16 with a screening of "Schindler's List," followed by "Gandhi" on Sept. 30 and "Rabbit-Proof Fence" on Oct. 14.

A showing of "The King's Speech" is scheduled for Oct. 28, and a screening of "Goodbye, Lenin!" rounds off the series Nov. 11.

All installments are free and take place at 7 p.m. in room 185 of the Craig campus, 2801 W. Ninth St.

After each screening, Johnson will open the floor to viewer questions or comments.

The goal of the series, he said, is "to evaluate how Hollywood handles history and to create some awareness that Hollywood is not pure history."

Take "Schindler's List," for example. Historians still debate how closely this film represents the Holocaust, he said.

The Academy Award-winning film "Gandhi" takes the Indian leader and "almost deifies him — makes him this almost saintly character when there is a very human side to Gandhi, too," Johnson said.

Still, as Johnson sees it, films play an important role in understanding history. They can act as a catalyst for examining broader topics and open doors to new perspectives.

"Rabbit-Proof Fence," a story about young aborigine girls who try to escape a system bent on conforming them to European customs, allows viewers to experience the culture from an aboriginal viewpoint.

The film also highlights larger issues at work during the 1930s.

"For me, that film is great for evaluating contrasting views of colonialism and the idea of empire," he said.

Mary-Karen Solomon, who chairs the arts and science department at the Craig campus, also believes films can be a powerful teaching tool.

"I think that one thing they can do is they can get students interested in history events, personality issues," she said. "And that can cause the students to read up on them and remember it better."

Ultimately, Johnson said he hopes viewers walk away from the series with a heightened curiosity of the past.

"That's what drives historians — we want to know," he said.

Bridget Manley can be reached at 875-1793 or bmanley@craigdailypress.com.

Click here to have the print version of the Craig Daily Press delivered to your home.

If you go…

What: Colorado Northwestern Community College Craig campus fall historical film series

When: 7 p.m. Sept. 16 and 30, Oct. 14 and 28, and Nov. 11

Where: CNCC Craig Campus room 185, 2801 W. Ninth St.

— The film series is free and open to the public.

The Lineup

Movies to be screened as part of Colorado Northwestern Community College’s fall historical film series at the Craig campus:

“Schindler’s List”

— Year: 1993

— Running time: 195 minutes

— Rated: R

— CNCC showing: Sept. 16

— Audience rating of 3.5 stars or higher: 96 percent*

— Plot summary: German businessman Oskar Schindler comes to Poland at the beginning of World War II to make his fortune as a war profiteer. But, what begins as a purely business venture turns into a secret humanitarian effort as Schindler uses his factory as a means of saving Jews from Nazi concentration camps.

“Gandhi”

— Year: 1982

— Running time: 191 minutes

— Rated: PG

— CNCC showing: Sept. 30

— Audience rating of 3.5 stars or higher: 91 percent*

— Summary: An experience with ethnic prejudice on a South African train compels a young Mohandas Gandhi to launch a campaign of non-violent protest for the rights of Indians in South Africa. Gandhi later uses the same message of non-violence to help India gain independence from British rule and to try to bring peace between Hindu and Muslim populations in India.

“Rabbit-Proof Fence”

— Year: 2002

— Running time: 94 minutes

— Rated: PG

— CNCC showing: Oct. 14

— Audience rating of 3.5 stars or higher: 85 percent*

— Summary: In western Australia in 1931, three half-caste girls escape from an Australian settlement designed to “re-educate” children of mixed Aborigine and white heritage and train them to be servants. The film also follows A.O. Neville, the government official charged with handling aborigine issues, and his efforts to track the girls down.

“The King’s Speech”

— Year: 2010

— Running time: 118 minutes

— Rated: R

— CNCC showing: Oct. 28

— Audience rating of 3.5 stars or higher: 93 percent*

— Summary: King George VI, the father of Queen Elizabeth II, reluctantly assumes the title of king after his brother abdicates. An eccentric speech therapist helps the new king overcome a speech impediment and become the voice of the British Empire as World War II unfolds.

“Goodbye Lenin!”

— Year: 2003

— Running time: 121 minutes

— Rated: R

— CNCC showing: Nov. 11

— Audience rating of 3.5 stars or higher: 91 percent*

— Summary: East Berliner Christiane Kerner goes into a coma in 1989. When she awakes eight months later, the Berlin Wall has collapsed and East and West are on the cusp of reunification. Christiane’s son, Alex, is caught in a difficult predicament as he tries to hide the truth from her to protect her from a potentially fatal shock.

Source: http://www.rottentomatoe…

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