Reel History Final

Ally Sack


My favorite film we watched this semester. It's really just a feel good movie. It's patriotic, suspenseful, and really fun to watch. I also liked how it was based on a real event in history. It wasn't just about hockey, it was about hope for America.

Mississippi Burning

This film made the biggest impression on me. It really showed how horrible African Americans had it in the south during the 1960s. It gave me a new respect for those who went through it and those who fought to put an end to the discrimination.

Green Berets

My least favorite film we watched this semester. It was terrible. The acting was bad, the effects were bad, the scenery was bad. I just couldn't get into it. It was cheesy and boring. Plus it's so obvious that it's pro-Vietnam War propaganda.

Vietnam War

The most interesting part of the class for me. I loved watching We Were Soldiers and Vietnam in HD. My uncle was in the war and it was cool (but kind of depressing) to see how it actually was in Vietnam and on the home front. It was really a crazy part of American history.

The Cold War

The least interesting part of the class for me. Don't get me wrong though, it wasn't boring. I thought pretty much the whole class was pretty interesting. The other parts were just more interesting than this one. I liked 13 Days and Dr. Strangelove, but I really didn't like The Good Shepherd. The Cold War time period is just harder for me to relate to.

A Changing United States

The time period between 1945 and now has shaped the United States in many ways. During the Cold War America was faced with many challenges that we had to overcome and learn from. The U.S. had to learn to step up intelligence efforts to counter the activities of the Soviet KGB, so the CIA was created. This is shown in The Good Shepherd. We also learned ways of peaceful and safe negotiations and how to be more diplomatic during the Cuban Missile Crisis. This is shown in 13 Days. During the Civil Rights Movement, America went through an enormous change. African Americans fought for what they deserved and eventually got just that. The atrocities and triumphs of that time are shown in Mississippi Burning and Malcolm X. Since then white people and black people have learned to live in harmony together, and everyone is now equal under the law. 9/11 changed the mindset of the American people. We no longer felt safe on our own soil. A war in the Middle East resulted from it, and heightened homeland security efforts were put into place. The war has affected many lives and continues to today, as shown in Lions for Lambs and The Hurt Locker.

A Changing Mindset

Learning about this Modern America time period has changed my entire outlook on the United States. Before, I've kind of been taught that America has always been the good guy, and that we always win. But after watching the films about the Civil Rights Movement I realized how horrible Americans were to each other. How horrible white people were to African Americans. I realized that we actually can lose when we watched the Vietnam War movies. We brutally lost that war. I also never realized before this class how crazy and chaotic things were in America during the 1960s with all the anti-war protests and paranoia about the nuclear bomb. Altogether I've just learned more about the way things actually were back then, and I've also gained a new understanding of why the situation in Afghanistan is the way it is. Through everything I've learned, however, I still feel that America is the best country in the world.
I feel that the United States is in some ways in a better position today than we were in 1945, but in some ways not. We are definitely much better in the sense that everything is more equal. Women, men, white, and not white all get the same opportunities and treatment. We've come a long way in that area. However I feel that before 1945 things were much simpler and more innocent. We were on top of the world from having won WWII and everything seemed to be going great until the Cold War escalated.