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306 Hollywood: Discussion Guide

Taking Action

If the group is having trouble generating their own ideas, these suggestions can help get things started:

Preserve your own family stories. Start a family tradition to record elders annually. At family gatherings, share existing photos, movies, or videos and record the resulting conversations. Be sure that outdated media are preserved and/or transferred to newer, digital archival technologies that can be accessed by future generations.

Jonathan and Elan gather artifacts to create “portraits” of people who lived in the house. Based on the examples in the film, make family or self-portraits from their/your belongings. Display the “portraits” and see if others in their/your community can guess who is being portrayed.

Jan Gadeyne talks about archeological layering that “allows you to walk through the different phases” that a house or place has been used for. Pull back the layers of your home or your neighborhood to uncover the history it reveals. Share what you find with others in your family or neighborhood.

Archaeologist Jan Gadeyne describes being inspired by artifacts to imagine how the people who left them lived: “You even start thinking about where they got their stuff from, how did it get here, what was the trade route? These are the things that I think, you know, they kind of stimulate…they tickle almost your imagination.” Visit an historical site in your city or region and imagine what life was like for the people who lived there. Consider expressing your thoughts in writing or another art form.

Activities Inspired By the Film:

Curating Catalogs: Gather loved ones’ belongings and arrange them in the archaeologist cataloged style Elan and Jonathan undertake for Annette's things.

Side by Side: Compare activities/ or objects you have in common with that of a loved one from a different generation and see how things are similar and different. For example, how does listening to music in 2019 compare with someone who lived in a world without the internet? How have hair products changed/ or stayed the same since your loved one was growing up?

What Could You Do?: Calculate the one time income of your loved one (adjusting for inflation) and see what you could or couldn’t buy today. Compare the prices and availability of those things today with that of the past. Is a haircut in 1970 worth a bag of chips today?

Then and Now: Locate the sites of places loved one’s once frequented. Compare any pictures from the past with that of today (skating rinks, movie theaters, grocery stores, national sites). Have decade-old buildings managed to stand? Has a whole block been reinvented?

Whose Story Is It Anyway?: Find a story shared among a number of family members: record each individual's recounting what happened…What are the differences and similarities among the various perspectives?

Revival of the Recipe: Revive a traditional/ or favorite family dish (discover how ingredients have changed/ or no longer exist/ or how some dishes have been preserved to a T for generations)

Our Roots: Compose as extensive a family tree as you can using pictures, objects and/ or document clippings. Get creative and go beyond the standard names, birthdays and who's related to whom.

Mapping it Out: Create a map that demarcates everywhere your immediate family has lived. Alongside that map compile some data to accompany that includes the number of states, cities and countries lived in, the lowest, highest and average years spent living somewhere and cost of living comparisons).

About the authors

Faith Rogow

Faith Rogow, Ph.D., is the co-author of The Teacher's Guide to Media Literacy: Critical Thinking in a Multimedia World (Corwin, 2012) and past president of the National Association for Media Literacy Education. She has written discussion guides and lesson plans for more than 250 independent films.