After watching the documentary Soma Girls I was able to make a personal connection with the wonderfully done piece of work. Over the summer I had the pleasure of interning for a non-profit organization, The Anchal Project. Anchal “ is a nonprofit organization that addresses the exploitation of women around the world by using design thinking to create employment opportunities, services and products that support economic empowerment. Our current priority is to provide commercial sex workers in India with careers in textile & design production.”
Having worked with this organizations I was able to see at a first hand experience what these woman truly go through and the helplessness they feel when it comes to their family and children. But after seeing this documentary and knowing the work that the non-profit Anchal has been doing to raise awareness with this issue is so very inspirational. My life was forever changed because of my interning experience and having the opportunity to see this documentary just fueled my inspiration.
I believe this to be the overall point that documentaries portray and what their creator’s ultimate goal is. They know going into this there will be few financial and physical benefits that come from the project, but that is never there beginning intention. It is to inspire people, to change people’s views and motivate people to do something about it. I believe that this documentary did just that. It brought attention to the problem but in an ethical way, which many documentaries have trouble doing. They focus more on the negative and not what they are doing to change things. Unlike Soma Girls that focuses on the positive but also ethically brings awareness to the unethical issue at hand. I truly was inspired.
In the first movie “Children of Men” one of the main elements we talked about was the filming technique of a long shot. We learned about the difficulties and barriers that long shots created but we also learned how much of a pay off they created for movies. One thing I found that pertains to this, involves the oscar winning movie “Birdman”. There is a long shot in this movie that reveals the tough elements that “Children of Men” faced. I found it very interesting in a clip I came across, where actor Edward Norton, who stares in “Birdman”, is being interviewed by Jimmy Kimmel, were Norton talks about how terrifying it was to shot the scene because he did not want to mess it up. I loved the way Norton describes it and talks as a true human being who was afraid to make a mistake, because one mistake would ruin the entire shot. But after watching the clip I definitely agree that the long shot effort was completely worth it.
When watching last weeks movie “JFK” one thing that struck me the most was the striking similarities of Jim’s closing argument to that of Atticus Finch’s closing argument in “To Kill a Mockingbird”. The instant that Jim began to say the truth, that the jury must find the truth to what happened in the assassination of President Kennedy. Not only in the words that were being spoken was there many many similarities but in the cinematography as well. Both men are shot at medium angles and the camera continually cuts back in forth between three subjects. The lawyers, Jim and Atticus, the men on trial, Clay and Boo Radly, and the jurors. These constant three cuts keeps the audience focused on the issue and those involved. Both men, Jim and Atticus, speak with such strikingly similar poise and stature that both give any audience spine chilling reactions. Both speak of our American society and the foundation of truth and equality that it is built on. I found it to be very powerful and moving after going back and reviewing each closing argument.
Continuing on from last weeks discussion a little with “Do the Right Thing” I saw this 60 minutes segment, this sunday, on the new movie Selma where Bob Simon sits down and talks with Ava DuVernay, an African American woman, who is the director of the new movie that portrays Martin Luther King Jr’s life. I found it very fascinating and fitting with our discussion on “Do the Right Thing”. http://www.cbsnews.com/news/selma-ava-duvernay-60-minutes/
One thing that really stood out to me in “Do the Right Thing” was how the mise-en-scene was able to foreshadow this theme of fire/heat and water. The vibe of the beginning of the movie is a typical hot summer day were people are baring the heat but also enjoying their summer days. The mood seems to be pretty uplifting. A scene in which this is prominent is when one of the neighborhood boys opens a fire hydrant for all the kids to come play in and cool off in the water. This seems like a uplifting time in the movie. Very soon does this happiness take a turn though. A white man is splashed in his car by the fire hydrant and he makes a very rambunctious scene. This small incident foreshadows the ending of the movie when Sal’s pizza place is burnt to the ground. Again we see the theme of heat and water being portrayed. The neighborhood began an uprising to Sal’s after one of their own is killed by NYPD. The citizens of the neighborhood start a fire and begin to act violently towards Sal and the police officers. The NYPD then uses hoses not only to set out the fire but to break up the riot. This symbolism of fire and water is a prominent one in “Do the right thing” in that it foreshadows how the ending of the story is going to play out.
One of the most prominent connections that can be made in the movie “Children of Men” is the biblical connection and many references the movie makes to experiences that have happened in the bible. To begin the title “Children of Men” is from psalm 115:16 that says “The heaven, even the heavens, are the LORD’S: but the earth hath he given to the children of men.” I find this very interesting because there is a scene in the movie where the citizens are protesting with signs that read such things as God is the one who has taken away infertility as a punishment. But in this psalm it is saying that God has given us the greatest of greats, the earth. The entire movie is based on this idea of keeping Kee safe because she is pregnant with the one thing that holds the answers to everything and that will save humanity. This could be seen as a direct biblical allusion to the Nativity story and Mary’s journey to the birth of our savior Jesus. By having such a powerful connection I believe made the movie overall more compelling. Being a catholic myself I was able to connect on a different level because of the similar stories. It made the movie stronger in my eyes.