Australian Rules Representations of Groups in Australia

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“Explain how the conventions of visual texts can be used to convey the representations of a group or individual in society.”

Australian Rules, a low budget film directed by Paul Goldman, was first shown at the Sundance film festival in 2002. This film portrays a consequential manifestation of racial discrimination and small-town bigotry and its impact on society, and different social classes, through the use of many filming conventions. Australian Rules follows the protagonist Gary Black as he grows and therefore changes to realise the unfair and unjust society he lives in and its demeaning view on Aboriginal people and other social groups and stereotypes. To the viewer Australian Rules presents a clear theme of colour contrasts. The clear contrasting differences between black and white people are so frequently presented that it forces the viewer to think about why this is. The Aboriginal people are under-represented in this film which is highlighted by the fact that the Aboriginal community, including Dumby’s house, is never visited by Gary and his meeting with Dumby’s sister Clarence only occur on the supposed neutral territory of and after-match celebration party. And when Dumby’s brother Pretty pulls him away during a training session, after recently being arrested by the police, voicing his frustration that white people share in Aboriginal talent to win games but don’t extend this to sharing an equal society. This is used not only as a forewarning of the events to come, but also to emphasise the enforced segregation based purely from the deeply embedded racism of the town and its view that all Aboriginals are the same. This stereotypical view of the Aboriginal citizens also impacts the boy’s friendship as within the context and social expectations of the town, football should be their only common association, a view that Pickles and much of the town holds. The football jumpers also play an important symbolic role as it is used to highlight the supposed...
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