• 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. Marked by a teacher

    How does the usage of cinematography and editing in Michael Haneke's "Code Unknown" reinforce ...

    4 star(s)

    The previously analysed themes were not present, so the scenes really did feel like they were from a completely different film. The viewer did not have to give thought or find their own conclusions, since all the work that was to do to uncover the scene was done for them.

  2. Marked by a teacher

    Film Studies essay - Gladiator.

    4 star(s)

    This could be used to add emphasis to the contrast, which is shown later on in the scene of the soldiers and the destruction of nature, how the soldiers have inflicted there own troubles onto a previously unspoilt land which has now been left in ruins.

  1. The Matrix - Opening scenes analysis

    So the relationship's development is complicated by the fact that Trinity already knows what is going to happen. The "vase is going to break" theme (where it is ambiguous whether someone's knowledge of the Oracle's prediction may have caused the prediction to come true)

  2. Western Film - Comparison of Shane and Pale Rider. hese classic western ...

    This is a good example of the change in the mentality of audiences in the 1980s. It was a new era, in which the old archetypal characters were replaced with new, tough, rebellious character types given more realistic and multilayered personalities.

  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. Critically evaluate the four approaches to film history with reference to Citizen Kane

    The scene with Kane as a child on his sled outside the house and Kane's parents with Thatcher inside is all in clear focus as too is the scene with Leland drunk over the typewriter, even the bottle on the table is in focus.

  1. A Cultural Analysis of the Film Enemy of the State.

    Imagine a world where they can hear and record your every word. This is a world where others can destroy your life; this is the world you live in today. This is a world where we are no longer citizens of the country, but rather citizens of the government.

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

    way to break her parents' spell, which is the only escape from the firm control of the spirits. Sen discovers an inner strength she never suspected she had which enables her to carry on in the realm of the spirits.

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