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The Reconstruction of History

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Human beings have attempted to pass on historical evidence to future generations from time immemorial. This information has been passed on through different avenues such as cave paintings. This was even before the discovery of cinematography (Ogunleye, 2006). Globally television docudrama has been accepted as an alternative means of documenting history. The docudrama has been seen as an alternative for recording and disseminating facts. The film industry has separated films into story films and non story films (Ogunleye, 2006).

Drama documentaries analyze current issues and events. Documentaries may include fictional events which are fused creatively with history resulting in believable scenarios (Ogunleye, 2006).  Though people have issues with the use and application of drama documentaries, these films indeed present an analysis of historical events (Ogunleye, 2006). Historians favour the use the documentary form because these provide raw truth that has not been tampered with

 

On the other hand the docudrama which also represents real events employs the use of audio-visual avenues such as television and film but combines both the documentary and drama elements (Ogunleye, 2006). Real evens are presented by well trained actors who perform a given story line. The docudrama harbours exemplary potential as a Historical event Instrument. Historical interpretations can be explored through the use of film. Film is a powerful medium especially when it is well researched. The film enables one develop critical thinking skills and attach on to motivation from this (Ogunleye, 2006). This is about how different authors reconstruct and construct history and reality.

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Sallah shabati is a 1964 Israeli comedy that was nominated for the 1964 Academy award in the category of best foreign language film in the same year. The protagonist Sallah Shabati and his family flew into Israel as immigrants. This was a large Jewish Yemenite family. The family’s patriarch Topol tries to earn a decent living in the poor country.  During this period the country was experiencing an inflow of Jews into the country. This is a docudrama film whereby history is explored through politics humour and music. This film reveals the history of the Israelites with fusion of humour and other aspects throughout the story line. Critics claim that this film was provincial in outlook but failed to capture in depth reality. The film was written and directed by Ephraim Kishon, a satirist who was able to reflect on the hardships that the Israelites experienced. These were housing shortage, tension between the settled population who were mainly europeans and the new comers (Ziv, 1998). The film was able to document the economic and cultural hardships experienced by the population.

The use of visuals and textual has both advantages and disadvantages. However, it is clear that the advantages outweigh the demerits. Visual aids are educative and can be viewed by a wide range of persons especially those who had no history classes. The visual on the other hand especially the docudrama provides a critical view of history. They also help compare the present conditions with events that happened in the past. Textuals in a similar way provide a diversified range of genres which can either be real information on historical events without any alterations. There are disadvantages of using these sources for the reconstruction of history because one may not establish any alterations in history. Therefore they cannot be used in isolation. Comparison with other sources of information must therefore be done before any conclusions are made.

 

Worldwide visual and textual sources are used for the reconstruction of history. However critical analysis of these sources must be carried out to establish credibility of the information. The film Sallah shabati is an example of a set piece that can be used to demonstrate the importance of visual sources. Despite this it has been criticised by some historians.

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