The use of films as educational teachings tools has increased in the last few years. This increase is not only being seen in the school system but also by the number of Hollywood movies being produced with historical content. Movies are being used to teach students and the general public about various historical events and although they serve as important learning tools, they should not be used exclusively. The various benefits and consequences of relying on this form of education will be reviewed and analyzed, as well as how these aspects relate to the film Argo (2012) and things to remember when viewing a major motion picture.
One of the advantages of using Hollywood films as teaching tools is they are made for general audiences and appeal to the masses. The benefit of this is more people become aware of certain events they may not have been otherwise exposed too. An example of this can be seen when the 2012 blockbuster Ergo was released. For many people this was the first time they heard of the Iranian Hostage Crisis of 1979. Although the historical context of the film received a great deal of criticism for its historical inaccuracies, it served as a learning tool for the many people who had not heard of the events.
Another benefit of Hollywood producing films with historical content is the film provides the viewer with images, which help make the event more relatable. For instance in the film Argo (2012) the images displayed during the ending credits show still shots from the film and actual pictures from the event. The images are almost identical, which leads viewers to believe what they are watching is historically accurate. As most Hollywood films are produced on large budgets, aspects of the film become so realistic it is easy to forget the film is only based on real events and most of the exciting scenes are fake or exaggerated. In Argo (2012) there is a scene at the airport where it appears the Americans will be caught, tensions run high as the plane leaves the runway, moviegoers experience a rush of excitement, as it appears the Americans barely escaped. This entire scene is fabricated and is a far reach from the actual events, which took place.
Films also have the added benefit of helping people who have a vague understanding of the events, make a realistic and memorable connection. However this can both help and hinder the process of learning; information may have been learned through reputable sources is in danger of being replaced with inaccurate information from movies because it is more memorable and the event seems realistic.
Films also help facilitate new discussion as they help promote the topic between friends, and family (and other people with whom you interact with). When films become popular people start talking about them, this opens communication to discuss various aspects of the film, such as the general likes and dislikes as well promoting the film itself. Again the down side of this is most historical content in...