The wrong beach? Interpretation, location and film

Teaching History article

By Paul Sutton, published 31st August 2004

In this article Paul Sutton examines the concerns associated with place in films. He points out the problems that this poses for our students - problems mainly, but not only, associated with a common lack of geographical authenticity. But this, he suggests, can be turned to our advantage. For what are films, after all, but exercises in historical interpretation? Using specific examples, Sutton indicates ways in which students can be encouraged to use film in order to obtain a more complex sense of place than that of mere fidelity to location, and which builds on, and develops, students’ historical and geographical imagination.

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