.cat-links { display: none !important; }
Topics in History: History through Film

Topics in History: History through Film

Topics is a course at Southport High School taught by Kevin Sanders that analyzes major events from United States and world history through Hollywood films that attempt to portray those events. Students investigate historical documents and other sources to determine if a film is historically accurate.

The goal is for students to develop deeper understandings of the historical discipline while generating questions about the way the world is around them, along with watching classical films that have graced American and international screens.

Student: Anonymous

Film Reviewed: Wolf of Wall Street

In 1987, Jordan Belfort takes an entry-level job at a Wall Street brokerage firm. By the early 1990s, together with his trusted lieutenant (Jonah Hill) and a merry band of brokers, Belfort makes a huge fortune by defrauding wealthy investors out of millions. However, while Belfort and his cronies partake in a hedonistic brew of sex, drugs and thrills, the SEC and the FBI close in on his empire of excess. This film is an epic biographical dark comedy crime film.

Wolf of Wall Street is based on a real-life event. This movie portraits Jordan Belfort as a former Wall Street trader who was guilty of crimes related to stock market manipulation. Belfort was violating probably hundreds of laws at any given time, most of which involved defrauding his shareholders and manipulating the stock of dozens of companies. Jordan was a broker. Jordan then loses his job on Black Monday (the largely unexpected stock market crash on Monday, Oct. 19, 1987). Jordan then decided to work with his best friend’s company which was basically scamming people. In 1993, Jordan illegally made $22 million in three hours after securing the IPO of Steve Madden and after making that much money they caught the FBI’s attention. Jordan hides his money in a bank account. In 1988 the FBI finally caught Jordan because Jordan’s friend gave the FBI tips about him. Jordan received a reduced sentence of 36 months in a minimum-security prison for his testimony and was released in 2000 after serving 22 months.

They chose the perfect actors to play the role of what characters do. Funny actors play the funny characters and serious actors play the serious characters. The movie is three hours long, but the first two-thirds of this movie was my favorite because it’s like a roller coaster building up momentum. The last third of the movie is different because it changes setting and mood. This movie is fast paced and the diegetic sounds they use fit perfectly with the mood as well as the non-diegetic

sounds, but this movie overkills with lack of substance. This movie has no character development and improv-type dialogue, but that’s things you wouldn’t notice in the movie because of the comedy. Overall this movie was good but was not historically accurate.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *