I'm a high school history teacher, and have been using this film to show my students (mostly foreign) how the media portrayed the Great Depression. I also assign term papers about the era, and this movie gives them a good idea of what to choose. So far, I've had students choose to write on dance marathons, the dust storms, hobos,and the building of the Hoover Dam, just to name a few subjects.
At first, they get a kick out of the music and the costumes, but the scenes of homeless people, the breadlines, and the general despair really hit home. Many never realized that America, the land of opportunity, was a land of unemployment, hunger, and fear for nearly a decade.
This movie is a must to all who want to evoke the feel of the Depression and not just have the kids read it out of dry books. It's very hard to get someone in to speak first-hand about the era, this movie speaks for them.
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