U3A History of the World Through the Movie Camera Presentation

Presenter Brian Jones.
Presenter Brian Jones.

IF all you knew the history of the world had come from watching movies you would believe that in One Million years BC cave dwelling , nubile blonde females wearing fur lined bikinis ran around fighting Tyrannosaurus Rex’s and seducing men from other tribes.

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You would probably believe from the Biblical Movies of the 1950s/60s the Jews built the Pyramids, an awful lot of sex and slaughter went on and the Roman Empire was the epitome of evil, intent on destroying the new Christian religion.

The History of the world through the movie camera becomes legend, myth, fable, and (believe it or not) modern propaganda and political expediency.

On Friday 24 March, the presentation for U3A members of History of the World as seen through the Movie Camera Part 1 by Brian Jones revealed that movies are capable of distorting the true history to such a degree they sometimes offended countries with their historical inaccuracies and were banned from showing in those countries.

Movies often used subliminal (and blatant) messages to convey political and ideological doctrines; for example take Cecil B DeMille’s The Ten Commandments (1956) which glorified McCarthyism, and the ‘Cold War’ with its analogy of the repressive, bullying Pharaohs as the Soviets and the brave Hebrews as the Americans.

Then there is the silent movie “Birth of a Nation” hailed as a masterpiece by those that refuse to see the movie’s underlying theme of racial vilification.

Interspersed with humorous clips, the presentation ensured the appreciative audience was entertained, informed and eagerly waiting for History of the World as seen through the Movie Camera Part 2 (from King Arthur to WW1) at the  Old Library on 19 May.


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