SECTION 1: History Today
1. Watch part of a film at home.
2. Do the actors in the film know they are being filmed? How does this knowledge affect their behavior?
3. Is this film an accurate representation of contemporary life? Why or why not?
4. What historical value would this film have to someone who might watch it in the future? Would he/she learn the same things by either reading or hearing about the content of the film?
5. What mistaken impressions about contemporary life might the viewer form?
SECTION 2: Brainstorming
1. Write down everything you notice about the film your teacher showed you.
2. If you have not already done so, be sure to write down
a. what type of film it is
b. when it is setwas it made in the same time period in which it is set?
c. who is in it
d. what happens to the character(s) in the film
3. What do you think happened in the film immediately preceding and following the scenes you watched?
4. What did this film teach you about women, Jews, and America in the time period when it was made?
SECTION 3: Now that you know
1. How does knowing the historical context affect your understanding of this film?
2. What personal biases affected your initial reaction to the film? What bias do you think the filmmaker brought to the making of this film?
3. Do you believe everything you saw on the screen?
4. Is this film historically accurate? How can you tell?
5. Is this film a valuable resource for learning about the time period in which it is set? If the film is set in a different time period from when it was made, is it a valuable resource for learning about the time period in which it was made?
6. How might the same subject matter/topic be presented today?
7. What do you gain by seeing this film that you might not understand merely by reading or hearing its content?
8. Which would be more effective at teaching people about this subject, a documentary, a fictional film, or a home movie?
SECTION 4: Follow-up Activities
1. Make a documentary about a day in your life.
2. Compare the events depicted in the Jewish Womens Archive film with a newspaper article or textbook description of the same time period in which the movie is set.