witnessed the consequences of female genital mutilation, it causes for great
discussion and becoming a subject of human rights within contemporary Africa.
However, as the spectator gathers a strong sense of male dominated and cultural
hierarchy within the village, it is noted they detest any possibility of modern
change. Whether it’s through women (or men) becoming more educated, or changing
their religious belief system to contest alongside Western cultures, which they
believe are “perverted”. This is seen as all the men collect and destroy the
women’s radios, as they believe this information is what is making the women
“perverted”. One of the women fighting alongside Collé says “They want to lock
up our minds”. We see how men within the village are very reluctant to change
as two of the older men ask if they have ever slept with an uncut woman before,
both showing disgust at the idea. Mercenaire eventually gets murdered, for
supporting Collé and the ideas of the Western world, further showing the
reluctance of change, without the support of a woman involved.

type of montage Eisenstein introduces is, ‘alogical montage’ used for ‘symbolic
pictorial expression’ (Taylor, 2000). For instance, we see this during the
Odessa step sequence with three marble lions, sleeping, waking and rising. The
original meaning behind this, according to Nesbet (2003, p. 63) “the lions
would be outraged on behalf of the palace and the old world it represents, not
by the massacre on the steps” however the audience can deconstruct this in many
different ways. Representing a disturbance within society or as Taylor (2000
p.52) mentions, “the spirit of revolution has awoken”.

to how cinematic surroundings gain a social and political response to the
spectator, Diego’s “Hideaway” had to represent his rejection to communism, and
the idea of two worlds coming together. The opera singer Maria Callas is an
important figure, as Diego uses her voice in order to try and seduce David, which
fails, particularly how Shields (2004) comments on how Maria Callas is an
archetype for gay culture. Diego jumps up as he plays Maria Callas, stating,
“God what a voice! Why can’t the island produce a voice like that? We need
another voice so badly”. When asked in an interview as to whether this line was
democratizing the Cuban political system, Gutierrez responded with “a joke that
contains a great measure of truth” (Dennis, 1995). Maria Callas isn’t the only
‘forbidden’ emblem in Diego’s apartment. We see American whiskey, a poster of
Marilyn Monroe and political art combined with Christianity, which he claims to
be his religion as well as Catholicism, evidenced by his iconic shrine.

The narrative of some
characters in Moolaadé, is intertwined with educational and well-travelled
characters.  For instance, Mercenaire and
Ibrahima represent the western world. Due to Mercenaire’s travels, he is able
to see beyond the archaic traditions within the village, proposing that Africa,
particularly hierarchal men, is unethical towards human rights and women. As we
witness their refusal to change their ways and beliefs. For example, as Ibrahima
and Mercenaire discuss paying bills, Mercenaire accuses Ibrahima of being a
paedophile. As we learn Ibrahima has been arranged to marry Mercenaire’s
eleven-year-old cousin. The village would rather have Ibrahima marry and
eleven-year-old girl, than marry Amasatou, who is not “pure”.

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can be the turning point for a revolution as we see in Battleship Potemkin. For
example, as we see one of the sailors washing dishes on the ship he sees the
quote, “Give us this day our daily bread”. We slowly see the effect it has on
him, and becomes a point of discussion with the sailors, as he realises he and
his ‘brothers’ do not even receive a simple slice of bread. This echoes later
in the film as we see a handwritten note written on Vakulinchuk’s body, “For a
spoonful of soup”. Taylor (2000) mentions how this protest against ‘inhumanity’
results in a senseless loss of life. Pointing out how religion points out basic
human rights, but can also be seen as the reason for a revolt. Russel (2009,
p.66) comments how, “religion had been the opiate of the people in feudal
society, cinema would serve as the great eye-opener for the masses”. This
points out how a community can get carried away with religion, as they rely on
God’s ways. Battleship Potemkin can be the eye opener to these social and
political issues, as they are presenting throughout the aesthetic filmmaking.


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