• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Billy Elliot - Billys struggle against gender roles discussed.

Extracts from this document...


Essay "Billy Elliot" Billy�s struggle against gender role restrictions for the opportunity to dance ballet is compared in the film with Jackie�s fight as a striker against his company. This happens on two narrative levels. To be more precise, the desperate fight of the miners that Billy�s father supports at the beginning, as well as he can, is displayed by the useless efforts to prevent Billy from developing into a good ballet dancer and becoming sophisticated. The industrial progress taking place in the depressed area and the cultural advance in Billy�s family cannot be prevented -neither by his father nor by anyone else as the end concluding scenes of the film shows. ...read more.


For instance he does not only start to learn ballet, but he also shows an interest in the content described in famous stories such as "Swan Lake". He is the one who thinks differently. No one else in his family would have the courage to behave like Billy in public. Billy proves that just because he likes ballet, it does not mean he is a "poof". Moreover he even shows tolerance towards his gay friend Michael by still accepting him as his friend. Similar to Billy�s resistance against his old fashioned father the miners� strike is only being broken by a couple of workers at first. ...read more.


And so both story lines reach the same narrative end: Billy�s struggle for freedom of choice against his father is won. His father changes his mind and turnes into a strike breaker himself so that he can afford to pay for the ballet lessons. And the same way, Jackie�s resistance against Billy�s decision, to dance ballet, has been broken, the miner�s resistence against the company has been broken. Cultural and industrial progress have succeeded. One could say, Jackie is nevertheless being defeated on both levels his job and family, and that his joy in Billy�s success might just result in the new perspective his family has achieved along with Billy�s career. But in my opinion he is not defeated, he really has changed. 487 words - 1 - ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our University Degree Film Studies section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Here's what a teacher thought of this essay

4 star(s)

The basic idea, to compare and contrast the two narrative threads, is brilliant, but the author has mistaken a superficial (and ironic) similarity in the narrative arcs of the two struggles, for a deep similarity of meaning, and this weakens the whole discourse.

I agree that both struggles share important themes, most importantly the conflict between traditional working class values and the changes that are occurring in that part of England at that time. I even agree that Billy does in a sense "grow beyond" those values and comes to embody and embrace values that are closer to contemporary liberalism, bringing both hope and freedom for his family, because it means that at least one of them will escape the poverty trap of being a worker in a dying industry.

What I don't agree with is that the film-makers want us to regard this all as "progress". It's change, rather than progress, harsh change that is forced upon people and which for the most part was economically and culturally devastating to the area where the film is set.

As it stands, this essay is a good solid pass, somewhere between a C+ and a B: 3.5 to 4 stars.

Marked by teacher Govinda Dickman 15/08/2013

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related University Degree Film Studies essays

  1. Free essay

    Film gender analysis

    In addition, man leads the gaze and woman is usually as spectacle. The narrative of From Russia with Love is driven by the British agency of James Bond. The entire story in the film is about him and his mission.

  2. Cinematographic techniques used in the film 'Taxi Driver'.

    In Taxi driver there are a number of great duration shots that add to the theme of the movie. An example of this is during the killing spree when the shots are shot at a fast pace. The accelerated pace allows it to conform to the conventions of a war film.

  1. The representation of black culture in contemporary Hollywood films, in response to Spike Lee's ...

    Truth is a thing of this world; it is produced only by virtue of multiple forms of contrast...and it induces regular effects of power. Each society has its regime of truth, its 'general politics' of truth; that is the type of discourse, which it accepts and makes function as true.

  2. Write a film review of 'Spirited Away' directed by Miyazakiand write comments on the ...

    In the Japanese version, Rumi Hiiragi voices Chihiro, and Daveigh Chase being her English counterpart, both skilfully communicate Chihiro's determination and bright outlook. Spirited Away draws loosely on Japanese mythology and a never-ending imagination to create a small yet elaborate universe inhabited by all types of creatures.

  1. Editing and Cinematography In Fight Club

    The main character Jack the Narrator, played by Edward Norton, is schizophrenic and has multiple personalities. The film starts at the ending of the movie and goes back in the main character's memory about three years before the present moment in the film.

  2. Truman Show Analysis: The End Sequence.

    It is no longer fierce and abrasive, but instead slow and tranquil. Another change being in lighting, whereas prior to this sequence the scene was dark in colour and done using fast editing as well as distorted shot types at close and high angels.

  1. Is Billy Elliot gay.

    However it could be argued that Billy's dancing is really a metaphor for all sorts of things, i.e.

  2. The Matrix - Opening scenes analysis

    Like Anderson, this is a "generic" sounding name, representing conformity, and the faceless nature of the Agents. Morpheus asks the agent who he is. The agent replies "Agent Smith." Morpheus responds with "You all look the same to me." Cypher is the unknown voice on the other end of the phone to Trinity right at the beginning of the Matrix.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work