Which Films Are Useful for History Students


Videos have been used in learning for many decades. And seeing its positive impact, teachers are using films in the education process. Here are the most useful films for history students. 

Watching historical films is a great way for students to learn history. These films are often fun and engaging for most history students. They provide a stellar educational experience for the history classes. Isn’t it great how students can watch and understand past events within an hour? 

These films take great liberties by modifying the events for dramatic effect. Based on your experience, you will get to learn historical accounts more engagingly. Below are tips for selecting the best useful historical films for history students.

The Fog of War

The Fog of War is one of the best films for students taking history courses. It teaches how to empathize with your enemy. McNamara repeats the phrase “empathize with your enemy” several times throughout the movie. The documentary is based on the accounts of the Cuban Missile Crisis, where he and Kennedy are trying to keep the U.S out of war. On the other hand, General Curtis LeMay wants to invade Cuba.

It’s more of an interview than anything else where there is an extensive conversation with Robert McNamara. It provides great insights to the history students about military decisions and the inconsistent motivations behind them. The issues discussed in this movie provide great historical accounts of the war. Watching this film can generate interesting discussions in the classroom.

Watching a film can be very interesting and, at the same time, very time-consuming. That’s if you have to watch many of these films to understand different topics taught at the university level. Balancing between watching movies, attending lessons, and working on film review writing can often be challenging. Students have the opportunity to test their professional gender roles essay to better understand this important topic of today. Eventually, they will be able to focus on other activities related to their education path, leading to better academic performance.

Tips for selecting best film

History classes with films are a longtime favorite for most students. After all, every history student loves to take a break from serious work now and then. And what better way to get things slow and still learn than switching off the lights and popping in a film?

Picking a movie is often challenging, especially when there is a lot of liberty within the industry. You may find out events that have been altered or some missing accounts. But will you get to sit down and watch every movie? Of course, no. That will be very hectic. So, you can read reviews from popular sites about the movie and get to know how it feels.

You will get a bit of the historical accuracy and the entertainment value offered by the movie. Imagine watching a movie about the history of a country, and then an alien monster begins attacking people! That movie is pretty worthless to be used as an educational tool.

History teachers can also search on the internet for their favorite movies that can be used as an educational tool for the students. Learning historical accounts in a relaxed way is one of the pros of watching history films. There are plenty of excellent movies on different sites that the teachers can utilize for learning purposes. Here is a list of useful films for history students.

The crucible

Most of the characters in this movie are inspired by real historical figures and events that happened. Arthur Miller narrows down this movie to show that people are scared of other people being different than them. The movie also teaches students that when it comes to obtaining what people want in life, their morals won’t matter in that case. In this movie, Daniel Day-Lewis tries to survive the wilderness and delusions of the Salem Witch Trials in the 1960s.

Though trials are mostly used as footnotes in most history classes, the events of colonial life in America make it a valuable tool for teaching history. This film accounts for the early life on the continent and the political injustices that happened during this time. This film acts as an allegory for the communist’s “witch hunts” in the 1950s. 


Who hasn’t heard about this great 16th president of the United States? He is one of the great presidents who persevered during the American Civil War, which brought about a lot of disruptions in the country. This great movie focuses on Abraham Lincoln’s efforts in 1865 to abolish slavery and involuntary servitude. 

This movie provides a great way to learn about the effects of the slave trade and the factors that led to its abolishment. History students will learn about the effects of the American Civil War and the challenges that Lincoln faced in abolishing the slave trade. The film also provides an account of how ideas became laws in ratifying the 13th Amendment of the U.S Constitution.

The Schindler’s List

Do you wish your history students to learn about the atrocities committed by the Nazis? If yes, then there is no other perfect movie that documents these events better than The Schindler’s List. This movie is visually thrilling and incredibly moving with great performances. Schindler’s List invokes the Great Man theory of history, where grand elements of fate later became a matter of personal choice.

It accounts for the events that led to the killing of about six million people by the Nazis and also focused on 1,200 whom Schindler saved from the atrocities. That’s why he is referred to as the savior in most cases. Widely considered for history students, this movie is a perfect reminder of the events of World War II.


Historical films can be used as great tools by the students to learn about the events that happened in the past in a more relaxed way. Teachers should be keen on the kind of movie for the students as it has to provide both educational and entertainment value. The points mentioned above represent some great films useful for history students to learn about the past. These films reinforce the knowledge taught in class as students gain a lot of insights into areas that they didn’t study.