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The Story of America in 12 Films

Marc Lapadula – Yale University

The Story of America in Film reflects the multi-faceted narrative of a diverse nation in all its thrilling and turbulent complexity. By utilizing six major themes in the categories listed below, bold filmmakers from a range of artistic backgrounds and political, social, and cultural eras form a genuine composite sketch of American Life — framing in sharp relief where we’ve been, where we are now, and where we might be headed in the future.

1. The American Dream – films: The Godfather (I&II) & West Side Story

2. Coming of Age – films: The Graduate & Lady Bird

3. Social Justice – films: To Kill A Mockingbird & Do The Right Thing

4. War – films: – Saving Private Ryan & The Best Years Of Our Lives

5. On the Road – films: – Rain Man & Thelma And Louise

6. The Underdog – films: – Hoosiers & Rocky