Reel History Final

By: Cassie Pennington

The Cold War

In this unit we watched The Good Shepherd, 13 days, and Dr. Strangelove. The Cold War took place from 1947-1991, and it was a sustained state of political and military tension between powers in the Western Bloc, dominated by the United States with NATO among its allies. Powers in the Eastern Bloc were dominated by the Soviet Union along with the Warsaw Pact. 13 Days shows the process that the Soviet Union went through to place nuclear weapons in Cuba. Kenney was determined to show that he is strong enough to stand up to the threat, and to soon put an end to this disaster. For me this was my favorite movie that we watched. It made me want to keep on watching the movie to see how Kennedy handled the situation, and whether or not we were able to prevent the Soviet Union from firing off their nuclear weapons.

Civil Rights

In this unit we watched Mississippi Burning and Malcom X. Civil Rights are a class of rights that protect individuals' freedom from the governments and private organizations, and ensure ones ability to participate in the political and civil life without discrimination. Civil Rights ensure safety, protection from discrimination such as race, gender, ethnicity, religion, or disability. In Malcom X, a famous African American leader's father was killed by the Ku Klux Klan. Malcom then became a gangster, and while in jail he discovered Islamic writings of Elijah Muhammad. He preaches the teachings he learned after he got out of jail.


In this unit we watched the Green Berets, We Were Soldiers, and Vietnam in HD. The Vietnam war was a prolonged struggle between nationalist forces attempting to unify the country of Vietnam under a communists government and the United States. The purpose was to prevent the spread of communism. In We Were Soldiers it showed what both the soldiers and families went through. It made you respect the soldiers even more than you already had before. This film made the biggest impression on me because it really showed me how much they do go through, and the impact on so many lives the soldiers had. Without them, we wouldn't be where we are today as a country.


In this unit we watched Frost/Nixon. The Watergate scandal was a political scandal that occured in the United States in the 1970's as a result of the June 17, 1972, break-in at the Democratic National Committee headquarters at the Watergate office complex in Washington, D.C. The Nixon administration's tried to cover-up most of its involvement. This eventually led to the resignation of Nixon. In Frost/Nixon a television talk show host David Frost wanted to arrange a series of interviews with him to air on television. He wants to do this because Nixon never admitted to any guilt or apologized for the Watergate scandal that led him to resignation. The movie shows David Frost trying to win Richard Nixon over. This was my least favorite because it seemed as if the movie dragged on and on, like it would never end. At some points I would be very interested in the movie, but then I would find myself very bored wanting something interesting to happen.
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End of the Cold War

In this unit we watched Miracle and Charlie Wilson's War. After the Cold War Russia cut military spending dramatically. In attempt to make the economy better, it left millions throughout the former Soviet Union unemployed. They went through a recession that was more severe than the U.S and Germany had experienced during the Great Depression. Miracle was a movie about an Olympic hocky team trying to battle through the tough times together to come out on top. Throughout the movie it took place after the Cold War. This part of class was the most entertaining because it was fun to see how different countries handled everything differently. and the changes that were made throughout the United States.

Post 9/11

In th is unit we watched United 93, 102 Minutes, Lions for Lambs, and The Hurt Locker. Post 9/11 is the time after the Septemeber 11 attacks which increased government efforts to address terrorism, and a more aggressive American foreign policy. In the film United 93, it showed the real life events that happened on United Flight 93 as it got hijacked. It showed the terror it caused everyone, and what the passengers onboard were willing to do to save their lives. This was a very hard time in everyones life, and it will never be forgotten.


The events that have happened throughout the time period of 1945-2011 has changed my way of thinking tremendously. I now better understand the hard times and what all the soldiers risk for our country. I find being a soldier the hardest job anyone could do, it's putting your life on the line.

My view of the United States has been altered or shaped after focusing on these time periods in history because I know how our country can be ruined/destroyed any minute and it is very hard to prevent that. We never know when someone might be attacking us.

I feel that the United States is in a better position today than we were in 1945 because now we are better prepared for terrorist attacks, nuclear missle attacks, wars, etc.