Daily life in pre-modern europe: film review

This paper should deal with the recent phenomenon that best-selling non-fiction books, PBS specials and films have increasingly focused on and conditions and practices of daily life in the past. The film is The Tree of the Wooden Clogs (1978) by Ermanno Olmi. Here are some of the kinds of questions that should be raised: How does this film provide an opportunity for history to reach out to the public? What are the different modes of writing history? Who is qualified to write history? Is film as a visual medium more compelling for conveying historical information? Why are the material conditions of the past and every day life interesting to a wide audience? Do popular (or popularized) accounts of pre-modern history provide an authentic picture of the past or do they distort more than they inform? Who is the audience for these accounts of material life? One to two film reviews may be referenced and discussed but are not required.