Sunday, 20 December 2015
Discuss the ways in which the extract constructs the representation of ethnicity using the following: Camera shots, angles, movement and composition, Editing, Sound, and Mise en scene
In this clip ethnicity in terms of minority groups such as Hispanic, Black and Asians are shown to be inferior to White people which adheres to ethnic stereotyping. These minority groups are portrayed as one unit that work and stick together as a family as they are all in a similar position when it comes to avoiding immigration. White people are stereotyped as being cruel and uncaring to those who are of different/stereotypically inferior groups. They adhere to this stereotype in the clip by walking into the hotel unannounced and seemingly don't care that they're running their operation in public where the British people will see what's going on. This could arguably represent the British people as being unjust and superior to those who are not classed as 'British'.
The diegetic sound of the immigrants talking helps the audience to identify that they are different and it is obvious that they are all of various nationality, creating an umbrella term for the immigrants and placing them all in one inferior group as opposed to individual groups based on ethnicity. Also, the tone set through the non-diegetic, asynchronous sound of the music suggests a sense of normality through its calmness which contrasts to the action going on onscreen as the immigrants are frantically trying to run and hide from the authorities. As the authorities dominate and drive the action in this clip as they are the ones disrupting the hotel's (and the immigrants) environment, the music sounds almost like music that would be used in a spy or detective show. This communicates the fact that what's going on in this scene is driven by the authorities (who are all white) almost like an undercover mission.
the fact that the white people are all wearing suits/smart clothing suggests that they are wealthier/superior perhaps and are definitely of a higher place in the hotel hierarchy. Interestingly, there are a couple of black people who are also wearing suits and seem to have similar jobs to the white people who manage the hotel. However, they are still bossed around by the white people and seem to be incapable of doing the same job as them. This is shown in the part of the clip where the blonde woman who works behind the hotel reception desk asks the black man if he has completed the simple task of delivering some documents to another department in the hotel, he replies that he forgot and she then turns to the white men who represent the authorities and comments on how he has a "brain like a sive", therefore demeaning him and portraying him as dumb. The awkwardness of the black man in the suits behavior connotes that he perhaps doesn't know how to be authoritative which implies that he isn't suited to being in a position of responsibility of leadership and should remain inferior. In terms of setting, the immigrants live below the hotel and their working quarters/environment is very bare and prison-like in contrast to the luxurious, professional setting that the white people work in.
The use of action/continuity shots shows the fast paced, panicked nature of the action that is going on onscreen as the immigrants are trying to hide themselves away from the immigration officers. The fact that they have a set protocol for when this happens infers that they are no strangers to oppression and racism from the immigration officers, thus supporting their inferior status to the white people/immigration services. The parallel cut that jumps between their panic and the unknowing black character (Abraham) as the immigration officers hunt for him and the rest of the immigrants hide and hope for his safety.
A close up shot is used near the beginning of the clip on the white man who gives the orders to the policemen who surround the hotel. By highlighting his concerned, authoritative expression, he is therefore portrayed as a serious man who is not to be messed with. His status is then communicated through the way the camera then zooms out to show his influence over the officers. Finally, near the end of the clip when Jackie (the Asian woman) tries to stand up for Abraham after he has been taken, a mid/close up shot is used along with a shot/reverse shot editing technique to show how she attempts to stand up to the white immigration officer. This is effective as is shows that she is trying to overcome the stereotype of white people being superior and be on the same level as he is, e.g: a mid shot.