What we're about

Tired of boring your friends with the historical analysis of every movie you see or article you read? Well not everyone thinks history is cool...but we do! The idea for this group is to discuss one topic in history every month or two (e.g. the world in 1914, Canadian history, 18th-century Britain, the American frontier, the 1950s). In preparation, you'll be given a list of books you can read (or skim) and movies and videos you can watch to give you background. We can also get together to see history-related movies, including documentaries. Will be cool to learn some new stuff based on the suggestions of different people in the group and just enjoy talking about history and how it relates to our lives/current events/etc.

Upcoming events (4+)

Historical movie watch party: GOODBYE CHRISTOPHER ROBIN

Online event

A.A. Milne (Domhnall Gleason) depicts his son Christopher Robin (Will Tilston, Alex Lawther) in popular children's stories and poems, complicating their relationship.

This 2017 bio-pic was written by Frank Contrell-Boyce and Simon Vaughan and directed by Simon Curtis. (It's another movie I haven't seen...)

A watch party for historical movies on Friday nights.

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/87943092133

The Philippines

Online event

The Philippines is an archipelago of over 7000 islands strategically situated south of China, west of Indochina and north of Indonesia. Its mountainous jungle terrain is well suited to guerrilla warfare. Its 100 million people are a mix of several ethnic groups, including Visayan and Tagalog, with fully half living on the northern island of Luzon. Uniquely for Asia, most are Christians, largely within the Roman Catholic Church. This is a legacy of over three centuries of Spanish colonial rule. (Today some Filipinos still speak Spanish as well.)

The Spanish presence there goes back to Magellan's famous voyage around the world: Magellan himself was killed on the island of Mactan in 1521. Spain established a colony there in 1565, making Manila its capital in 1571. Manila became an important entrepot giving Spain a point of entry into the China trade that Portuguese rivals dominated. Spanish galleons would bring American gold and silver from Acapulco to be traded for Chinese silk and ceramics. Catholic missionaries were also active.

The Spanish era ended in 1898 when the USA intervened in Spain's struggle with a Cuban rebellion. Commodore George Dewey routed the Spanish fleet in Manila Bay with the famous order "You may fire when ready, Gridley." Within the Philippines an insurgency led by Emilio Aguinaldo had fought the Spanish to a standstill, and now Aguinaldo returned from exile and declared Philippine independence. But the Americans seized Manila, denying the insurgents entrance, and created a de facto US colony in the name of "benevolent assimilation." Asserting US control took three years of bloody counter-insurgency campaigns that killed hundreds of thousands, leading to criticism by Americans such as Mark Twain. (The word "gooks" originally described Filipinos.)

The Americans eventually allowed their possession greater autonomy, creating the Commonwealth of the Philippines in 1935 under General Douglas MacArthur and President Manuel Quezon. But the Japanese attacks of 1941 caught MacArthur unprepared, and a US-Filipino force of 100,000 eventually surrendered at Bataan, the greatest single defeat in US military history. MacArthur withdrew, declaring "I shall return," and the Japanese were driven out three years later after another bloody counter-insurgency. After liberation in 1945, the Philippines was finally granted full independence.

The early years of independence were marked by a long communist rebellion, eventually defeated by Defence Secretary and later President Ramon Magsaysay. Ferdinand Marcos was democratically elected President in 1965, but declared a dictatorship when faced with his term limit. In 1983 his longtime rival Benigno Aquino, Jr., returned to the country only to be assassinated immediately, which backfired badly on Marcos: in 1986 widow Corazon Aquino overthrew him and restored democratic rule in the "People Power" revolution. (General Fidel Ramos, who played an important role, would also serve as President, as would Benigno III.)

Today, the Philippines faces several challenges common in the "Third World." A Moslem separatist movement in the southern Moro region has lasted over 50 years. Land reform is an ongoing problem. And current President Rodrigo Duterte has attracted controversy with his high-handed methods, even accusations of fascism.

For background reading you can try Luis Francia's A HISTORY OF THE PHILIPPINES: FROM INDIOS BRAVOS TO FILIPINOS.

This is an online event with the following link:
us02web.zoom.us/j/[masked]

Historical movie watch party: THEY WERE EXPENDABLE

Online event

Two US naval officers (John Wayne & Robert Montgomery) lead a torpedo boat squad on the coast of the Philippines at the time of the 1941 Pearl Harbor raid and face a full-scale Japanese invasion with no hope of relief arriving.

THEY WERE EXPENDABLE, released in 1945 (when the Pacific War was almost won), is a different sort of war movie. Written by Frank Wead (based on Wiliam Lindsay White's 1942 nonfiction account of an actual PT boat squad) and directed by the great John Ford, its sensibility is less triumphal and more elegiac than usual for the genre.

A watch party for historical movies on Friday nights.

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/87943092133

Historical movie watch party

Online event

A watch party for historical movies on Friday nights.

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/87943092133

Past events (210)

Historical movie watch party: GANDHI

Online event

Photos (210)