Monday, November 18, 2013

Free post

I'd like to talk about freedom.
For me freedom is one of the most important things in life. I assume there are three meanings of the word "freedom".
The first is the one which is visible, which ables a person to walk without any shackles or without being a slave. That is to say you aren't under someone's pressure, you can make your own decisions.
The second meaning is related to civil Rights : you are free to do what ever you like provided it isn't forbidden by the law.
However "to be free" could also refer to a state of mind. Sometimes people doesn't feel good because of a load of rubbish, boring jobs, arguments, ending love stories, society pressure... we can also be slave of an illness, a dependence, an idea... That's why people could depend on many things, be very vulnerable, and so lost their freedom. I think we must get rid of what can hinder our happiness.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

The movie that I have chosen and which is related to the notion of power is called "No". This Chilean drama film was released by Pablo Larraín in 2012
The story takes place in Chile, during the Pinochet's dictatorship. It shows how Augusto Pinochet decided to organize a referendum, and  to what sort of opposition he had to face up. In fact the movie deals with the historic 1988 plebiscite of the Chilean citizenry over whether general Pinochet should have another 8-year term as President.
Furthermore, the main actor is called René Saavedra and is played by Gael García. He stands for a young and clever advertising man. (Effectively the story is when advertising tactics came to be very used in political campaigns) The René's campaign tries to defeat Pinochet and his party, in other words, it promotes the party of the "NO" made up of people who are against the dictatorship. However, the population is skeptical, and very scared to tell what it really wants, so it is unable neither to claim its rights nor to make a choice.

The first aspect of power that we can notice is the political one. As we can hear in the tailor, Pinochet, helped by the head of the police and the Army, has the total control of mass communication and social and economic organizations. He also represses any form of opposition and dissidence. In fact even if people is assumed to have the right of replying "No" to the plebiscite, the government keeps threatening population and more particularly the leaders of the campain. Moreover this dictatorship resulted in the death and disappearance of 3 200 people, and about 38 000 tortured people.

The second aspect related to power refers to the "counter power", in other words to the public opinion as it is question of a referendum. Effectively, even if the government carefully controls the population, we can notice that people are holding demonstrations. Furthermore, the forth branch of government, the media, also alludes to the notion of power. All the story is structured around an ad, that would be permit the party of the "NO" to win, and overthrow the dictatorship.We can see what sort of sequences are chosen and how they are shot, for what purpose... With a few resources, Saavedra and his team succeed in creating a powerful ad, and win the referendum.
To my mind the last aspect of power is the most important : It is the power of happiness. The advertisers decide to build up their ad around the notion of happiness, an incontestable value, in order to be more credible, 
and to gather people to the full.

Monday, November 4, 2013

POST 7: THE NOTION OF POWER as exemplified in Brian De Palma's Redacted movie

( Videos will be here soon, for the moment it doesn't work )

"Redacted" is a movie released in 2007 by Brian De Palma. It deals with american soldiers during the Irack war. The sequences are shot as if it was a soldier who was filming, it conveys a sense of plausibility but it is also very shocking. In fact the main goal of the movie is to show what was hidden by the US government concerning their intervention in Irack. The issues in relation to the notion of power that seem to be tackled are the US military power, the US government capacity to keep some information from people, and more generally the power of a man practised on an other illegally. Furthermore, this movie also suggests that cinematography can be powerful to denounce some abuses.
A review from :
Redacted from director Brian De Palma is a must see. This film is a work of conviction which boldly and angrily exposes the carnage and misery that has been the U.S. invasion and occupation of Iraq—the reality behind the mass media lies, talking points, and sanitizing of the U.S. destruction of Iraq and its people. Concentrating on the actions of one unit of soldiers, it gives a focused glimpse of what the U.S. military machine has brought down on the people of Iraq, the indescribable crimes it continues to commit, and the mentality that the troops are inculcated with and that many become steeped in. It presents a devastating portrait that stands as a much larger metaphor—a challenge to those who want to turn away and hide their eyes from these atrocities.
Redacted is centered around a true story. In March 2006, a 14-year-old Iraqi girl, Abeer Qasim Hamza al-Janabi, was raped, shot in the face, and burned along with other members of her family by U.S. soldiers. Speaking after the film won the Silver Lion award for best director at the Venice Film Festival, De Palma said, “The movie is an attempt to bring the reality of what is happening in Iraq to the American people. The pictures are what will stop the war…"