Monday, 10 November 2014

Representation of Ethnicity

In this essay I am going to be talking how ethnicity is represented in a clip from spooks. The characters within this clip that i will mainly be identifying is Danny, he is a African American spy, as well as the other character who is a terrorist and is Arabic.

Mise en scene

The stereotypical outlook of an African American man is un-wealthy, bottom of the chain and not very highly respected. We would stereo typically associate them with ragged clothing, not very smart and a laborer or some sort of gangster wearing hoodies. However, Danny is an African American man who is very smartly dressed. He has a very well respected job considering he is part of the MI which means he must make a fair amount of money. Therefore he doesn't stereo typically fit the ethnicity outlook on his ethnic background. The terrorist is Arabic, which is a usual stereotype for a terrorist. He is wearing a suit this concludes he comes across as a leader of some sort. Although this contrasts the stereotypical terrorists as we associate them with wearing a robe or gown and a type of Arabian turban. However,  the Arab terrorist has a sidekick. His costume gives away the fact that they are both Arabic as he is wearing a complete black costume where his body and face are covered,this is an ethnic stereo typical Arab costume. 
The scene gives off a very dark and gloomy vibe, this is to create the tension as both Danny and the Women are in danger. The dark and oppressive setting relates to the fact this is some sort of terrorist attack/killing. Society suggests that white people are law abiding and out of harms way, this is represented in this clip as both victims of the terrorists are  from ethnic backgrounds.


Ethnicity is also represented through sound in spooks. The sound in the background to me sounds like Muezzin which is the call to prayer. They play these types of music in places such as Turkey. As well as the Spanish guitar, this shows the sense of otherness and the non British culture. The sounding is very tense and it shows the contrast between the Black vs Arab. It shows the hatred enmity culture clash and the ideological differences, this is suggested by their tone of voice, the arguing between them. At the start of the scene there is drumming, this highlights a very intense event is about to happen and gives the scene suspense. 


The editing in the clip from spooks represents ethnicity. At the end of this clip there is white screens and flash backs, these could relate to flashback of the war which could represent each characters ethnicity. Or, it could also relate to Danny's death and his past of being a spy. The white screens are just after Danny's death and show flashes of his boss, the scenes become slower, less intense and weaker. This could represent emotion, pain and sorrow for Danny's death. The white screen creates drama and atmosphere. Whenever the camera focuses on Danny we notice very sharp to the point cuts, this could directly peruse his bravery in the situation. The fact that the woman is always faced head on and is not as in the scene as much as the other two could suggest sexism. This is because she being portrayed as the weaker and more vulnerable one as it focuses more on her crying rather what she has to say. It also really focuses on the way the gun is pointing down on her, this could actually relate to ethnicity as we can see she is not White British, which could suggest she also has little respect from others. Within the scene Danny mutters a prayer this could effectively conclude he is a religious man. They way this ties in with representation of ethnicity is because a typical "black" man would have a very religious and spiritual background.


 In the clip the camera angles are noticeably convenient for ethnicity, whenever the camera is focused on the terrorist the camera is always a low angle shot which means the terrorist is being looked up to by the camera. This suggests he has the most power in the room, as he is the one holding the gun and gets to determine who shall live and who shall die. Not only does this, but whenever the camera is on the terrorist we immediately see a lot of shifting of the camera, this would suggest he is very nifty, sly, evil and has very bad intentions. The terrorist is convinced he is in the right, we can tell this by his extreme close ups, it almost reveals as if he is brain washed. On the other hand Danny is being looked down on and we have a focused effect on him yet still have the image of the terrorist, blurred, in the background. This creates the intention that in the room Danny is the least respected, this is to do with ethnicity because a lot of people associate African American people as living in the slums or having a 3rd world lifestyle. Although a lot of Danny's head camera shots could show his sturdiness. The scene shows Danny's strong will, although the terrorist is in charge and has Danny's life at risk, he doesn't seem scare or nervous that soon his life may end. We can see this by the way Danny freely gives the terrorist back chat, almost as if he wants the terrorist to cause a reaction and in result, him killing Danny. The reason he may have done this is to save the Woman's life, as stereo typically, woman have more right and authority to live over men as they need protecting.  We see the slow motion after Danny's death, in another point of view this could as well suggest they show lack of emotion for Danny's death and that soon with the episode to carry on her could be completely forgotten about.

Overall in each section we can see descriptions of ethnicity from the clip. This all fits in with the stereotypical outlook on race and shows an undermining term of African Americans and shows how relate-ably  sometimes the Arabic have the power as they are stereo typically seen as terrorists and people that are in control as they use violence as a threat to get there own way. The terrorist in this clip completely concludes a whole look of terrorism and almost does not have a foot out of line when we see a representation of him, other than his suit. Where as with Danny i would argue that he is no way near the stereo typically black man, he is not being put in the shadows and he is wanting to be heard. His is dress completely objectifies the stereo type. Other than the fact he has a gun pointing down on him. But, this does all tie together and i think the clip really does show a representation of ethnicity, whether this is through how the characters are portrayed or the scene/clip as a whole, we still grasp the undermining of the African Americans and the over powering of the Arab. 

No comments:

Post a Comment