Scene from To Live. Character pose for wedding photo in front of the slogan "The working class leads in everything."
Discussion on To Live (Huozhe 活着, 1994):
The lost scene:
Review from last class:
Discussion on Though I am Gone:
Imagine you have been tasked with writing an article explaining the relevance of Devils on the Doorstep to American high school and university students of Chinese history.
If you feel stuck, consider these questions to prompt your thinking . . .
Above (left) Richard Bernstein's article in The New York Times in 1989, and (right) Bernardo Bertolucci in the Forbidden City during filming of The Last Emperor (1987).
Class engagement self-assessment survey
Essential questions for Unit III:
Film and history:
Start today with the third question. In small groups, brainstorm how your assigned medium can provide unique perspective on “truth” about the past:
Next, we’ll bring film into the conversation. We’ll start by reading a short excerpt from Richard Bernstein, “Can Movies Teach History?” in The New York Times (26 November 1989). Once you have finished reading the excerpt below, discuss, with a partner:
Something strange—not new, but ever more conspicuous—haunts the cultural landscape. Movie makers and television producers have become our most powerful, though perhaps not our most careful, historians. It seems fair to say that more people are getting their history, or what they think is history, from the movies these days than from the standard history books. The phenomenon is probably unavoidable, yet, if the history as presented by the movies turns out to be a muddy blur of fantasy and