U.S. Presidents: Fact -vs- Fiction Film Series
Classes will be held in the USA Baldwin County Performance Center located 111 St. James Avenue.
There are still openings remaining at this time.
At a time when fewer Americans read well researched history, most people get their impressions of post World War II presidents from politicians, television, and movies - some of which "spin" the truth to appeal to a given market.
This Non-Credit 5-week Film Series gives the curious citizen a chance to explore the differences between mass market versions of recent presidents and what scholars say about them, through film, lecture, and group discussions.
Each week will include:
Day 1: View a Hollywood film version of a U.S. President
Day 2: Lecture and group discussion led by Dr. Tennant McWilliams, Professor of History and Dean,
Emeritus, at the University of Alabama a Birmingham (UAB)
Films chosen for this course had to fit certain parameters. For format reasons, they could not run more than 3+hours , which eliminated certain Nixon movies. They also needed to be films about presidents for which there is now a substantial body of scholarly writing, eliminating George W. Bush films. Despite excellent books about them and films revealing early phases of their lives, for certain presidents there is the plain matter of film unavailability....for Dwight Elsenhower, Ronald Reagan, George H. W. Bush, Jimmy Carter and Barack Obama. On the other hand, a striking collection of compelling films are ideal for this short course, probing different perspectives on recent presidents and how this helps us understand the current White House.
President Harry Truman March 16-17, 2020
The film: "Truman" (1995)
President John Kennedy March 23-24, 2020
The film: "Thirteen Days" (2000)
Week 3: March 30-31, 2020
President Lyndon Johnson
The film: "All the Way" (2016)
Week 4: April 6-7, 2020
President Richard Nixon
The film: "All the President's Men" (1976)
Week 5: April 13-14, 2020
President Bill Clinton
The film: "Primary Colors" (1998)