by Michael Lauck
For the last century or so the world has been able to take an animated glimpse at its past thanks to motion pictures. Although we have always had history books and, better yet, source materials such as newspapers, speeches and journals, the ability to actually see our past can enhance our understanding. There are so many small details, such as the way people spoke or the now strange seeming everyday items surrounding them, that are easily forgotten or misunderstood otherwise. The films do not have to be documentaries or old home movies, either, because even popular films show the details and reflect the attitudes of the day. If you doubt this watch a black and white movie (or even a television show) with a ten or twelve year old child. They will be shocked by things such as phone dials, the constant smoking, how all men seem to wear ties, how everyone seems to wear hats and countless other observations.