Wednesday, 24 November 2010

How is disability represented in The Street?

During this clip we are able to see the different ways in which disability is represented. Firstly the clip opens with a close up of barbed wire which could straight away be representing a cage. We then get a close up of a characters face, standing behind what could be referred to as 'the cage' just before the camera moves onto what is known as the 'disabled' character throughout the clip. This is surrounded by the diagetic sound of voices and movement which would be something that is naturally found within any working environment. This helps to create the thought of social realism. Also straight away we have the use of the enigma code, this is the audience posing the question as to what happened to his face to result in the scars he has at present.

The first line of dialect that we are able to establish in the clip is our character with the scars stating that he wants his job back. This could represent that he is trying to rebuild his life and look into to futute rather than dwell on something that has clearly happened to him in the past. Shot reverse shot is then being used on the two characters which are engaging in conversation. Something that is extremely noticable is the focus the camera has on the scarred side of his face rather than the healthy. This is when we able to guess the way in which the rest of his society look at him. Relating to the dominant notions of disability, we can see that the social model of disability is being cast upon the character rather than the impairment that he actually appears to have. As the narrative continues it becomes clear to the audience that what we assume to be his previous work mates, are wary of what has happened to his face. Also the characters seem as if they pity the character with the scarred face and also try to avoid eye contact as if he is not would what be considered as 'normal'.

As the 'disabled' character is declined of his job and walks aways from the building site, we are once again shown a close up of barbed wire with our character walking behind it. Relating back to the thoughts on society putting him behind bars, due to his impairment. When the clip moves into the next scene a women who  appears to have been shopping drops her goods whilst getting out of a taxi. The character then speeds up pace to help her retrieve what she has dropped. As he 'gives her a hand', the camera quickly flashes onto an extreme close up of the scars on his face which then triggers an action code of the women reacting with a slight scream. This may allow us to recognise the real view that society have on the character. Nick, our main character immediately assumes her reaction is down to what he has on his face. This could representing disabilty as something that people fear and the lack of relation people may have towards it. At this point Nick walks away, whilst the women attempts to dig her self out of a hole after realising the offence she may have just infliced on the character.
Whilst this is all taking place no sound is used, once again to create social realism. Also to enforce and put emphasis on the descrimination he is recieving as a result of the way he looks.

As the narrative continues a sound bridge is used to connect our present scene with the next one. Asyncrynous sound is used as he is walking which ables the audience to realise the anger the character is experiencing. The music which is played sounds rather 'tribal' like which could relate to something rather animalistic. If we were to connect this with the previous theory of society putting him into a cage, we are able to establish a strong connection between that and the present music. Whilst walking the camera switches on close ups of members of society that we assume are reacting to seeing Nick's face. The social model of disability is able to be applied at this stage. Nick is clearly being seen as something which is not 'normal' and therefore being looked upon as having a 'difference' to other members in society.

We once again witness another sound bridge being used from this scene to the final one. We see that our character has visited the army recruitment office.  Straight away we are able to see the shadow cast upon his face which may represent that he wishes to hide away from society from the person he has now become. This shadow is being cast by the blinds which once again creates the caged effect upon his face. Editing is used several times within this scene to show the different sides that Nick's character may have. The camera switches from extreme close ups on each side of the face. One being the scarred side and one being the previous 'healthy side'. Something that could be taken into consideration is that the two sides of his face are infact binary opposites. It seems that the character has taken the option to visit the office for honesty. What i mean by this is that he is not treated differently by the character who is addressing him and he tells him straight. Also the army relates to expressing violence to settle matters. This relates as to why Nick is there, as he is angry but also expressing the feelings towards himself due to his impairement. Lastly, we capture the fact that Nick also has part of his hand missing. The reason for this being displayed near the end of the clip is to show the impressions that society have cast upon him. By this i mean even though he has had more than one injury, society are only focusing on the more noticeable one, and therefore judging his character by this.

To conclude i feel that a very stereotypical view of disabilty has been represented throughout the clip. It delivers the message to an audience that disability or impairement is something that is treated different within our society. It seems that in relation to this clip, many members of society may choose to treat someone like Nick different due to the way that they look, before engaging with the character and then gaining an opinion of them which is how it should be.


  1. Can you try and write more for this sequence Abbie?

    You need to try and apply the theory we learnt in class about 'social' disability.

  2. I will do, this wasn't finished but i'm going to add more!