I shall begin my essay by studying several scenes in the film 'Billy
Elliot', which was made in 2000, directed by Stephen Daldry. The main
focus of this particular film is the 1984 miners' strike, a defining
point in British history.
Billy Elliot is a young boy of age eleven. He lives in a small and
confined north-eastern mining district, where the majority of workers
are currently involved in a violent strike as a form of forceful
protestation. Billy lives with his elderly grandmother, as well as his
older brother Tony and his father who are both connected with their
striking miners maintaining a picket line against the strike-breakers.
The first significant shot in the film, providing us with our initial
view of the police, consists of Billy discovering that his grandmother
has strayed out of the house they share. He runs into the nearby
field, eventually finding and coaxing his absent-minded grandmother to
return home. The police force are visible on a road above the field.
The camera shot is a 'long-shot', focusing on the force's high
position and great number, and therefore making the officers seem
superior. The police are shown here to be a nameless, unknown body. It
seems as though the habitants of the district are used to, and have
become familiar with, the seemingly strong force surrounding the
community. Billy ignores the police, and they do not see him as they
plan another day controlling the picket line and the increasing number
of miners encompassed in the violent resistance to the
strike-breakers, including Tony and Mr. Elliot.
Billy, much to the dis...
... middle of paper ...
...ded in the
everyday happenings and business of the entire community. This,
however, is what the film intends to insinuate.
As stated, "Billy Elliot" and "The Blue Lamp" are two very different
films made for very different reasons. There are some things that the
two have in common, and I'm sure there are aspects of the police that
could be taken from both films and applied to the present day. In a
sense, both are propaganda films, although "The Blue Lamp" is more
positive. "Billy Elliot" presents the officers very negatively, as
they seem to use nonessential savagery for more petty crime
prevention. Despite this, "Billy Elliot" depicts the police as intent
upon keeping order, which of course is the job of such a force. The
police forces in the two films show very different ways of keeping
conduct in the community.
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