Documentary Analysis Essay on Ellis Island

Paper Type:  Movie review
Pages:  8
Wordcount:  1952 Words
Date:  2022-11-01


The documentary talks about how one building became very important to American society through immigration. Ellis Island was the processing point for new immigrants that were coming to America. At present, the issue of immigration forms the central discussion for American politics and culture wars. I think Ellis Island was the most important property in America in the early 1900s. According to the video by State University of New York (2016), only one in every 50 immigrants was denied entry into America. The video is informative because it gave me an opportunity to learn a few things about American history. With such high number of immigrants, it means that a very high number of the current population are immigrants and that means that the country was essentially built by immigrants and how we respond to the current issues of immigration will determine the future of America.

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Slavery by Another Name

The documentary by Pollard (2012) gives a new perspective on how one is supposed to perceive the post-emancipation period. I particularly found the documentary very informative due to the amount of information available in the documentary about the post-emancipation period. One area that got my attention was how the southern states utilized the loophole available in the constitution to continue to exploit African Americans. The 13th amendment prohibited slavery or involuntary servitude except when administered as punishment for a crime. That exception allowed Southern states to come up with laws that made it almost impossible for a black person to live in the region without being convicted. In return, the state governments leased the prisoners to private governments where they had to work for free. Slavery continued under the system known as convict leasing.

The Gilded Age Into the Progressive Era

Jacob Riis Story

The Jacob Riis Clip shows how immigrants had a hard time settling into American society. In one of the most radical times in American history, one young man sets out to help the plight of his fellow immigrants by documenting their lives and publishing it under a book called How the other half Lives. The documentary is a revelation to some of the problems that grappled the American society, particularly New York, in the late 19th century and early 20th century. I think it was a good initiative by the young Danish reporter to inform the country of the hardships of fellow citizens. It also shows that as much as people came to America to pursue the American dream, a very few proportions of that number managed to live that dream.

Channel 9 - How the Other Half Lives

The documentary How the Other Half Lives from Channel 9 expounds upon the YouTube film JOHNFITZAMH2020 (2008). How the Other Half Lives confirms my conclusion that the immigrants were coming with the dream and vision of living a good life but they ended up in what one can argue is worse than their previous situation. I think the documentary is important because it shows the negative effects of unregulated capitalism and its effects on poor Americans. However, the main thing that caught my attention was the concept of social justice as described by State University of New York, How the Other Half Lives (2016). There has to certain standards of humanity that apply to everyone not just as Americans but as a human being.

Jane Adams and Hull House in Chicago

I liked the film because it represents hope. It shows how one person can set out to make a difference. I am intrigued by the work of Jane Adams and how she set out to change Chicago neighborhoods. In my opinion, as much as it is important to tell the stories of poor immigrants, it is also vital to show the story of success stories to encourage those who come into America. The documentary by State University of New York, Jane Adams and Hull House (2017), tells the stories of immigrants such as Charles Larson which is an encouragement to young people like me.

Triangle Fire

The film shows the dangers of unregulated capitalism. It does so by using the events of triangle fire that happened in New York. The disaster was avoidable but the institutions were reluctant to change. The greed of American capitalism reflected through the stories of triangle fire victims. I agree with what Greenwald, a historian says. That we cannot have a private system in America and government has to conduct some form of oversight over American industry (Bordas, 2011).

World War I and the 1920s

Influenza 1918

The early 20th century proved to be a troubling time in American history as another disaster struck again. This time it was in the form of a disease, influenza which claimed hundreds of thousands of lives. According to the video, the disease threatened to destroy the American society (State University of New York, Influenza 1918, 2018). The video made me think of the fragility of American society where people turn against each other now and then. However, it also shows its strength because it overcame the epidemic along with war.

Iron Jawed Angels

I think the legalization of female voting marked one of the most important steps in the history of American society. It is only comparable to the emancipation. I admire the courage displayed by the women to withstand the rain and snow for the sake of gaining equal rights to men. I find the film by State University of New York, Iron Jawed Angels (2018), interesting because it delves into the personal lives of the women who were fighting for the rights of American women. I also like the dramatization of the events that happened because it doesn't depend on exaggeration but rather content as the women try to find a balance between supporting the war and pushing for voting rights.

Isolationism, Fascism and World War II

America's Time, 1941-46: the Homefront

In one of the darkest moments in American history. I found the documentary very informative because it added more information to what I knew about the American military and society. According to the State University of New York, America's Time, 1941-46: the Homefront (2018), the American military ranked 19th behind the likes of Portugal in 1941. With such an underqualified military, it is a surprising fact that America joined the war. I also recognized the significant part that the women played in ensuring we win the war through the spirit of the war effort. It seems to me that the strength of the American military and nation originated from the support of the American people back home in what the filmmakers call homefront. My outlook of the war is similar to that of the documentary; it changed American society forever.

World War II and The Advent of Fast Food

I realized that the link between World War II and fast foods is stronger than I thought. The standouts point for the documentary was the attempt to apply the "one fix all" technique which meant that one level of nutrition was applied to all Americans. I just realized that there is a lot of food-related inventions that were created during the war. The issues discussed in the film relate to some of the problems America is facing in the modern world regarding healthy diet. The foods that became popular during World War II what geared towards improving the health of Americans during War to avoid malnutrition. That explains why they have high levels of calories. It was practical to have high calory foods during the War it made sense because of the physical activity required at the time, but at present, its significantly contributing to obesity and other lifestyle conditions.

Entering the Cold War

Candy Bomber

Interesting enough, I have never heard about the story of the candy bomber. The story of the candy bomber show the harrowing effects of World War II that had left millions of children at the brink of starvation. I admire the initiative of the pilots to go out of their way and try and help those children. It shows that even though military men had taken part in the war, they recognized that the children were innocent and should not pay for the mistakes of their predecessors. I agree with what Halverson says that such a small gesture as giving a child candy could go a long way in giving them hope (State University of New York, Candy Bomber, 2017).

Cold War - Korea [E5/24]

It is unfortunate that the world participated in other wars after World War II. However, I don't understand why it was necessary to divide the Korean Republic after the liberation of Korea. It seems that the superpowers were willing to prove their strength using other people's countries. The documentary taught me something new about the Korean war. I learned that the United Nations participated in the War by fighting for South Korea (Luga, 2014). However, I doubt whether it was right for the UN to take sides in the war. That is new information to me, and at least I gained something from the documentary. The video also made me reflect on the 54,000 American lives that perished on foreign soil.

"Liberal Hour"1963-1966

Lyndon B. Johnson, Part 1 CC

It is intriguing how a person's career can be ruined by a single thing. That is the story that I grasped from the documentary. President Lyndon B. Johnson was one of the most promising American statesmen at the time of his inauguration. The American public compared him to the likes of Abraham Lincoln because of his promise of equality and equal opportunities for all Americans. I understand the dilemma that President Johnson was in at the time. From my perspective, it seems like he was condemned either way. There were no easy options for the president. The documentary says that Johnson was the most effective president America has ever had (State University of New York, LBJ, Part 1 CC, 2018). I think he only got bad advice. He seemed to get everything right except the issue of Vietnam which he could not solve. However, I am still convinced that he remains one of the best presidents that America has ever had.

The Great Society Meets the Vietnam War

Lyndon B. Johnson, Part 2 CC

The video talks about one of the most controversial wars in America history. The American public was very divided about the Vietnam war. I do not agree with Johnson's tactics of dealing with the Vietnam War. He was not honest with the American public about the events of Vietnam. Their strategy had been failing since 1965 and Americans were tired of the wars. To some level, it is not entirely his fault because his hands were tied. Regardless of what he did, there was going to be people dying as he says in the documentary (State University of New York, Lyndon B. Johnson, Part 2 CC, 2018). But I think Johnson would have been better off getting the American troops out of Vietnam because that would have at least spared American lives from the death in the forests of Vietnam.

Carter, the Miserable 1970s and the "Reagan Revolution

God in America - A New Adam

I understand the message of the documentary, and I agree with most of it. Religion was among the founding pillars of American society. The First Part of God in America is not surprising considering that it builds upon the knowledge that I already had regarding the place of religion in America. That doesn't mean that I gained nothing from the documentary. I knew about the diversity of American society, but I wasn't aware of the extent of its diversity. According to (2010), America is the most religiously diverse country in the world. I agree with the video that the relationship between America and God is in...

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