Film Analysis: A Midwife's Tale

703 Words 3 Pages
A Midwife’s Tale is the story of Martha Ballard’s life based off her diary written from 1785-1812. The film depicts what the life of Martha Ballard was like, including sickness, birth, and death. The film showed the life of Marth as a town midwife and doctor in the 18th and 19th centuries. The film was told through reconstructions of the past based on Martha’s writing throughout her life. Historian Laurel Ulrich told the life of Martha Ballard based on the primary source, Martha’s diary.
Historical documents need to be interpreted so they can be fully understood. Historians must do research on the time period being studied to better reconstruct the past. Reconstructing the past is necessary when primary sources only provide an incomplete picture of the past. Patterns must be made, and all possibilities must be challenged. Historians take what information they know, and take information from multiple other sources that can be obtained to try and create a full picture of what happened in the past. Imagination often has to be used to reconstruct the past. This could be due to lack
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Martha’s story involved reconstruction of the past based on limited information. Historian Laurel Ulrich, tells the story of Martha Ballard and her interactions as a midwife and a town doctor. The writing of history has evolved from storytelling as an artform to recently more of a written science based more on primary and secondary sources from the past. Historians must do research on the time period being studied to better reconstruct the past. Reconstructing the past is necessary when primary sources only provide an incomplete picture of the past. The film a Midwife’s Tale, in my opinion, accurately represents events from Martha’s life based off of her own writings in the primary source, her diary. The film was good history because of its reliance solely on facts and what could be

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