Be My Brother (2009) Short Film, Film Analysis English Film Analysis Essay

1250 words - 5 pages

How does Clay-Smith shatter notions of ‘disability’ and the labels that society imposes
on the marginalised using the multimodal form of a short film, ​Be My Brother ?
Those who are marginalised often are perceived as unwanted by those in their surroundings.
People with disabilities will repeatedly victims of being ostracized and outcasted by mainstream
society who is unwilling to expose themselves to the new experiences making it incapable for
them to change and challenge the rest of society. ‘Be my Brother’ (2009), directed by
Genevieve Clay-Smith forces the audience to experience the suffering that the disabled face
due to societal stigma and during this process shows us how ignorance leads to certain
perceptions however when these perceptions are broken, mainstream society is allowing
themselves to develop relationships with these people. Clay-Smith Be my Brother has done this
by composing a multimodal short film using the aspects of space, gesture, camera angle etc to
convey the ideas of a closed off society, how these people are the same as us and how the
developing relationships between these two groups of people are highly beneficial for both
The representation of disabled individuals within mainstream society has certain prejudices
placed upon them that often cannot be lifted. With these prejudices comes the distances that
are placed between us, making it difficult to understand the and overcome the barriers. Be my
Brother explores these social constrictions by firstly pointing out the main character, Richard
who has down syndrome. This is shown through a slow close up shot to his face. The slowness
of this shot is supposed to make the audience aware of the daunting reality of what notions
being disabled in our society brings about. While being introduced to Richard, Clay-Smith
clearly and cleverly uses space within this scene. The audience sees Richard below the rest of
where the scene will take place, this use of space within the film is a symbol for the barriers that
inhabit a person with disabilities and how they are seen to have less worth that the rest of the
community. It also shows the amount of effort required for people with disabilities such as down
syndrome to reach similar standards of respect and societal acceptance, therefore Richard must
take big leaps and risk when it comes to finding his place in mainstream society. This is seen
when Richard introduces himself to Amanda, the female character. Richard is very forward in
his behaviour in an non threatening way. However the way that Amanda reacts reflects that of
an ignorant person. She is sat at the very edge of the bus stop and sat in a standoffish manner,
embodying the distance placed upon by societal misconceptions and the fact that she does not
want to develop a relationship with this person. The use of gesture here makes the audience
aware of the hostile behaviour and perspective on this issue presented as Amanda is portraying
that she is clearly...

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