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By W. Bryan Rommel Ruiz

Whether or not they desire blockbusters, historic dramas, or documentaries, humans examine a lot of what they find out about background from the flicks. In American historical past is going to the flicks, W. Bryan Rommel-Ruiz indicates how renowned representations of historical occasions form the best way audiences comprehend the historical past of the us, together with American representations of race and gender, and tales of immigration, in particular the widespread narrative of the yank Dream. utilizing movies from many various genres, American heritage is going to the films attracts jointly video clips that depict the Civil conflict, the Wild West, the assassination of JFK, and the occasions of 9-11, from The start of a state and long past with the Wind to The Exorcist and United ninety three, to teach how audience use video clips to make experience of the prior, addressing not just how we render heritage for well known leisure, but in addition how Hollywood’s renderings of the US impression the way in which american citizens see themselves and the way they make experience of the realm.

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Extra resources for American History Goes to the Movies: Hollywood and the American Experience

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We will return to this scene as it relates to the film’s theme of gender, madness, and social disorder, but this scene critically reveals Father Karras’s struggle with historical agency and the costs of the American Dream. This scene dramatizes the ways Father Karras believes he failed his mother in his pursuit of his dream of higher education and the priesthood. His guilt is reinforced by his uncle who tells him that as a Harvard educated and trained psychiatrist, Father Karras would be wealthy if he lived a secular life, and would be able to afford to place his mother in a reputable home for elderly people.

83 History is phantasmagoric, an optical illusion that intensifies or diminishes the past in relation to what the present signifies as important. From this perspective we can understand the importance of the film’s Iraq sequence. The film signifies the unearthing of ancient artifacts of good and evil and repeatedly displays them throughout the film because they intensify and amplify a historic cosmic moral battle between good and evil in the modern context of Regan’s exorcism. The film may deny progress and rebuke modernity by collapsing the time between past and present, a theme represented in the camera shot of the stopped clock in the Iraq sequence, but it does not necessarily valorize the persistent power of religious traditions.

In fact, the conflict between religion and science represented in the film reflects our broader cultural ambivalence towards either one as a paradigmatic epistemology. Although we might think we have transcended this historic struggle, The Exorcist challenges the primacy of science to provide answers to our human ailments. 90 The Exorcist, however, dismisses modern scientific empiricism and its authoritative claims to “know” the natural world. Chris’s initial, and what viewers would see as a “natural,” decision to seek help from the medical community and her faith that they will diagnose and cure Regan’s “disorder” are ultimately rendered ridiculous as the multiple examinations, procedures, and pharmacological treatments fail.

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