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How do film-makers present a sense of community or national identity through sound and image?

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Introduction

How do film-makers present a sense of community or national identity through sound and image? Throughout Went the Day Well and Passport to Pimlico, both films present different communities and the ways in which they come together through crises affecting their lives. In WTDW, the opening sequence presents a clear sense of national identity. The tracking shot and the close-up of the sign saying "Bramley End 1/4 miles" combined with the use of bird-song and patriotic marching music signifies a peaceful and tranquil area to be entering. When meeting the first character, the country farmer, we are directly addressed, giving a feeling of approachability within the community. The shot of the farmer is a mid-shot on eye-level which emphasizes the feeling of being directly spoken to and make him feel 'less of a threat'. The setting of the film is firstly of a country road and a quite, sleepy country village. The focus on the Christian church allows the audience to think of the community as trustworthy, religious and likeable. The area, as it is idyllic and untouched, gives a quality to it that allows the audience to think it is worth saving through the war. ...read more.

Middle

PTP shows that for all their 'dogged resistance' the Burgundians never lose sense of their true identity shown by a famous line - "We always were English and we always will be English, and it's just because we are English that we are sticking up for our right to be Burgundian!" This clearly shows the defiance of the community and qualities of tolerance and supporting the underdog. Throughout the opening few sequences the village is shown as 'sleepy'. The sense of community is really shown when they 'awaken' to the enemy and begin to act with determination and resourcefulness and when necessary 'surprising ruthlessness' The ordinary character in WTDW Mrs Collings, is shown to get her own personal revenge on the same soldier who assaulted one of the young boys in the village previously. This re-enforces her role in the village's society as she is again the one who is 'sticking up' for the children. Another character in WTDW that is a stereotype is the vicar. He is seen to be almost 'floating' across the screen in a mid-shot of him combined with bright lighting, connoting saintliness and a heavenly martyr when he sacrifices himself to ring the bell, despite it not being a success. ...read more.

Conclusion

The soundtrack at this point is high-hoping and jolly with the idea of negotiation in the film. This is in contrast to the previous sequence with the fast-moving and hard music of the newsreel. Throughout a certain sequence of the film, WTDW explores how the villagers go about common English rituals, emphasizing the national identity topic. When one of the women is interrupted by the soldier she is in the middle of cooking a Sunday roast, whilst attending to her children, showing the Germans have no morals and no consideration for others. When all being packed into the church, we see how the wedding of Tom and Peggy is interrupted. Because we have grown affection for these two characters throughout the film, we now have even more sympathy for the villagers and how their worlds have individually been upturned by these intruders. In conclusion to the way in which the film-makers of these films have presented as sense of national identity and community through sound and image, Cavalcanti (WTDW) and Cornelius (PTP) have used the basic idea that in times of need everyone works together in order to create a peaceful atmosphere in their own communities, whether it be through fighting back physically, or just standing up for what they believe in. Beth Connolly 1940s War & Its Aftermath Essay 2005 ...read more.

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