Saturday, January 11, 2014

War and Peace - Movies as Literature


Elizabeth and I watched War and Peace as part of her studies of Napoleon. This really rounded out the unit on Napoleon and helped to put in perspective the time frame that Napoleon lived as well as his strengths and weaknesses. It is such a powerful story with so many wonderful themes that made it perfect for discussion and literary analysis. 
We watched the movie in three separate sessions as it is over 3 hours long. This gave us time to watch the movie and then discuss it. 
I think this may have been the first movie where Elizabeth really saw the atrocities of war. There was nothing that romanticized war in this film. Elizabeth couldn't get over how foolish the characters were not knowing there was a war in their own country! Technology has really changed news!!
There was so much to discuss through these characters - foolishness, forgiveness, betrayal, faith (religion vs faith) and so much more...
We hadn't discussed much on motifs before, this is why it is great to use a variety of resources - each one has something different to offer. For War and Peace we used elements from the Film as Literature Unit by James Whitaker. This resource keeps on giving as there are 75+ pages of elements. I think we will use them many times over the High School years! For this film I chose the Literary Elements Overview, Understanding Character Traits and Analysing and Evaluating Major Conflicts for Elizabeth to do. 
They were excellent! We are looking forward to many more films that we can use this way in the future...
Blessings,
Natalie