Film

The U.S.S.R. sent legions of “liquidators” to clean up in the aftermath of the meltdown. 

Footage Shows How Daily Life Didn't Change After Chernobyl—and the Cover-Up's Toxic Aftermath

A new documentary shows how the disaster transformed—and endangered—those who lived near the nuclear plant

Hassinger's video (above: Birthright by Maren Hassinger, 2005) is a powerful history of seven orphaned children, a story of stolen labor and stolen lives, a family chronicle “that came out of being enslaved, the aftermath of slavery,” says the artist.

Join in a Meditation on the Twists of Memories Handed Down From One Generation to Another

A new commission, based on the acclaimed video 'Birthright' by artist Maren Hassenger, explores the legacy of slavery in family history

Tom Cruise revives his Top Gun role as Pete "Maverick" Mitchell in the new film arriving in theaters May 27.

'Top Gun' Is Back. But Is the Elite Navy Fighter Pilot School Really Like the Movies?

The Smithsonian’s Chris Browne flew the much-feared F-14, and as a former TOPGUN student, knows well the power of a Navy-trained fighter pilot

The Blue-Haired Fairy and the Talking Cricket try to make Pinocchio drink a medicine in an illustration for the children's novel The Adventures of Pinocchio, by Carlo Collodi (1826-1890).

Who Was Pinocchio's Mysterious Blue-Haired Fairy?

Author Carlo Collodi may have drawn inspiration from one—or a few—female figures in his life

Left: Photo of the dress from a Bonhams auction listing. Right: Father Gilbert Hartke with the gifted garment

There’s No Place Like Home—but What’s the Right Place for Dorothy's Dress From 'The Wizard of Oz'?

Donated to the head of Catholic University’s drama department in 1973, the garment's ownership is now at the center of a legal dispute

Still from Black Mirror: Bandersnatch (2018). 

The Surprisingly Long History of 'Choose-Your-Own-Adventure' Stories

From the 'I Ching' to an upcoming Netflix rom-com, interactive fiction dares us to decide what happens next

A Long Island family sits in a "Kidde Kokoon" underground bomb shelter in 1955.

Digging Up the History of the Nuclear Fallout Shelter

For 75 years, images of bunker life have reflected the shifting optimism, anxieties and cynicism of the Atomic Age

Tony Award- and Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright August Wilson depicted the experiences of Black Americans through often-overlooked, working-class characters.

How Playwright August Wilson Captured the Highs and Lows of Black America

An immersive exhibition in Pittsburgh explores the award-winning dramatist's life and legacy

Alexander Skarsgård stars as Amleth, a Viking prince who seeks to avenge the murder of his father.

The History Behind Robert Eggers' 'The Northman'

The revenge saga blends traditional accounts with the supernatural to convey the lived experience of the Viking age

The Academy Museum of Motions Pictures received backlash on its opening for failing to portray the stories of Hollywood's Jewish founders.

The Academy Awards Museum Will Create New Exhibition on Hollywood's Jewish Roots in Response to Criticism

When the museum opened last year, industry leaders and donors expressed disappointment at what they saw as a stunning omission in the exhibition content

Marlon Brando confers with director Francis Ford Coppola during the filming on Mott Street of a scene for the movie The Godfather.

A Guide to 'The Godfather' Filming Locations in New York City

To mark the 50th anniversary of the award-winning movie, here are seven scene-setting sites worth a visit

The Godfather was named Best Motion Picture–Drama in the 1973 Golden Globe Awards and Best Picture in the Academy Awards.

Studio Executives Did Not Want Marlon Brando for the Title Role in 'The Godfather'

On the film's 50th anniversary, a Smithsonian historian reflects on the cultural phenomenon of the blockbuster hit

Dorchester County artist Michael Rosato painted a mural of Harriet Tubman in Cambridge, Maryland.

Harriet Tubman Is Famous for Being an Abolitionist and Political Activist, but She Was Also a Naturalist

The Underground Railroad conductor's understanding of botany, wildlife biology, geography and astronomy allowed her to guide herself and others to safety

Today, Betty Boop is an immediately recognizable cultural icon, appearing on everything from luggage to coffee mugs to chunky heels to board games.

The Evolution of Betty Boop

Film censorship sparked the beloved cartoon character's mid-1930s makeover

The award-winning actress, director and entrepreneur Monalisa Chinda is also host of the nationally sindicated television talk show "You & I with Monalisa." 

Photographer Iké Udé Is Retelling Africa's Narrative With the Power of Portraiture

A new show celebrates the stars of Nigeria's Nollywood, the country’s vibrant $3 billion film industry

Instllation view of "In Event of Moon Disaster," the centerpiece of an exhibition that explores the history of deepfakes on display at the Museum of the Moving Image. 

This Deepfake Exhibition Shows How Convincing the New Technology Can Be

The Museum of the Moving Image tests whether patrons can spot the difference between fabrication and reality

Christie accompanied her second husband, Max Mallowan, on digs in Egypt and Syria. During these expeditions, she helped catalog, illustrate and restore artifacts, in addition to managing everyday operations.

How Agatha Christie's Love of Archaeology Influenced 'Death on the Nile'

In the 1930s, the mystery writer accompanied her archaeologist husband on annual digs in the Middle East

Carlos Vives performed onstage during the world premiere of Walt Disney Animation Studios' Encanto at El Capitan Theatre in Hollywood, California, in November.

Celebrating the Viral 'Encanto' Soundtrack's Colombian Roots

Grammy-winning artist Carlos Vives sings the title song, which honors the rich traditions underlying the film's music

Sidney Poitier, pictured here in 2006 at the Cannes Film Festival, died Friday, January 7. He was 94. 

How Sidney Poitier Rewrote the Script for Black Actors in Hollywood

Smithsonian curators reflect on the legacy of the late Poitier, who starred in 'In the Heat of the Night' and 'Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner'

Marchand and Meffre discovered thousands of early 20th century theaters across the U.S. and Canada, and then spent the next 15 years photographing them.

Eight Historic Movie Theaters With Interesting Second Acts

In a new book, photographers Yves Marchand and Romain Meffre honor the remains—and the creative reuses—of North America's iconic 20th century cinemas

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