Today, my freshman seminar will be finishing up “Monty Python and the Holy Grail”—one of the few movies that has an historian as a character (even if he dies in the film), along with one that intentionally distorts history in order to prove a point (namely, that history is definitely NOT dull and boring). I first saw it as an undergraduate along with a bunch of other history majors, and we cheered when the historian came onto the screen, booed when he was killed, and cheered at the end when his murderer was arrested. In between—well, I’m not going to spill any of the plot for those of you who have not seen this classic, but there are other characters besides the historian (some of them actual historical figures). I watched this film again this summer to prepare for seeing the musical “Spamalot,” and, I must admit, I had forgotten how funny this movie really is—and how educational it can be.
So…for those of you who dare to venture into the realm of commenting on this blog (and I hope there are a few of you out there)…do you think this film succeeds in its goal of educating and distorting history? Why or why not? Should it be a film that is required viewing for first-year history majors, to prepare them for the many interpretations of the past that they will learn about in their academic careers?