Scripting the Past: Exploring Women's History Through Film

In this lesson, students employ the screenwriter's craft to gain a fresh perspective on historical research, learning how filmmakers combine scholarship and imagination to bring historical figures to life and how the demands of cinematic storytelling can shape our view of the past.

Guiding Questions

How do filmmakers bring history to life, and how does filmed history represent (or misrepresent) historical realities?

Learning Objectives

To learn about the craft of filmmaking and role of the screenwriter within the filmmaking process.

To examine a first-person documentary narrative from a screenwriter's point of view, focusing on the kinds of information needed to create a story that will bring the past to life on film.

To gather contextual details required for a film treatment through historical research.

To consider the relationship between historical narrative and the storytelling conventions of film.

To produce a film scenario and script a scene based on the life of a historical figure.