Belonging-Billy Elliot

Topics: Billy Elliot, Birmingham Royal Ballet, The Royal Ballet Pages: 3 (962 words) Published: May 18, 2013
Life requires us to move to new stages, each with its own set of obstacles and challenges which, if successfully overcome, can enrich one’s experience. A significant role in this process is played by familial and social values and external interventions. Stephen Daldry’s film ‘Billy Elliot’ (2000) depicts the protagonist’s growth as he discovers a passion for ballet which drives him to break free from traditional masculine stereotypes in his mining hometown. This similar drive traces the quest of the Brennan Family in the Australian Documentary “Proof of life”, when their son Nigel, a war photojournalist, is captured and held hostage in Somalia for ransom. Both texts illustrate the importance of determination, persistence and tenacity in achieving the goals of personal freedom. The process of growth and change towards independence varies accordingly to the individual’s family and social principles. In the film, Billy is realising as he enters into adolescence that his dream of being a dancer is unconventional and seemingly impossible in a macho mining town of Durham, England. The lines of police are vectors, ever present in the scenes. These separate them from the miners indicating social divide in society. Billy knows when he embarks on this journey, his dream will clash with his father’s view of gender roles and this society’s stereotyping of males. “Lads do football, boxing or wrestling-not bloody ballet!” according to Jackie. This creates a barrier of secrecy which tears Billy’s world into two. It limits him in pursuing his love of dance, represented by the necessity of hiding his ballet shoes under the bed. It is when Billy’s father offers his support in an invigorating moment of epiphany, realising Billy’s talent, that the protagonist is truly able to venture into his new experiences and transcend the battles in his life. In ‘Proof of life’, Nigel’s family unite to secure his freedom from captivity. Their persistence and ongoing support of this...
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