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Culture Commentary on O Brother, Where Art Thou?

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Introduction

Culture Commentary on 'O Brother, Where Art Thou?' The movie under analysis is 'O Brother, Where Art Thou?' by Coen brothers, released in 2000. It's an adventure comedy, very loosely based on Homer's Odyssey, set in Mississippi in 1930s. Three friends, Everett, Pete and Delmar, escape from conviction in search of a treasure, and in their journey they face a lot of trouble. These episodes contain numerous allusions on some of the previously made cinematographic interpretations of the Odyssey, and many references to American history and culture. This film shows townsmen as compared to the countrymen. ...read more.

Middle

Though the action is set in Depression Era Deep South, the issues raised in this film are still relevant for the American society: religion, racism, and music. In this movie we can see the social life in connection with these issues - these are main reasons for people to congregate. The first issue raised in this film is religion and church as a social institution. In the beginning of the journey the protagonists become witnesses of the rite of Baptism. ...read more.

Conclusion

The blacks have their own vision of devil: he is white, 'with empty eyes and a big, hollow voice' (the sheriff). Hatred towards minorities is another issue uniting the white Americans, and in this film we see the Ku Klux Klan lynch mob, where they manifest their main aim - 'to preserve our hallowed culture and heritage'. The Ku Klux Klan ritual, the rite of baptism, convict labour, procession taking prisoner to the electrocution are all accompanied with folk and bluegrass music and singing. Music is shown to have great importance in social life and to be a great power uniting people and overcoming hatred. ...read more.

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