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Paul Greengrass
History lessons, with popcorn, for America's undergraduates
History lessons, with popcorn, for America's undergraduates

The merits of the nine nominees for the Academy Award for best picture are being debated by cineastes around the world. But as a college professor, this year's Oscar nominees also reaffirm the growing importance of the movies in the classroom and how film can inspire young people to greater academic inquiry. Although most of my students have never heard of the 1970s Abscam scandal, many have seen "American Hustle." The horrors of American slavery are brought back on screen, in "12 Years a Slave," for a generation of white undergraduates who see nothing extraordinary about having African Americans as roommates, teammates or teachers. As difficult as it is to...

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