Billy Elliot

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Billy Elliot
Traditional ideas about stereotypical gender roles can be challenged or supported with different characters and environments. The visual text Billy Elliot was created in 2000 and directed by Stephen Daldry. The film is about an 11 year old boy (Billy Elliot) who tries to pursue a career in Ballet despite negative stereotyping. Billy must overcome many obstacles in his path including his stereotypical father and brother who are convinced that men cannot do Ballet. Billy Elliot demonstrates that traditional masculinity is restrictive and makes men feel trapped. He does this by following his dreams to be a ballet dancer proving that he could still be masculine and successful. Topics such as symbolism, setting, characterisation and stereotyping will be discussed in this essay. Billy, the main character of the film Billy Elliot is a symbol of change and freedom not only in his family but in the community in which he lives. In the visual text, Billy must break free and be who he wants to be. In the world he lives in, men are trapped and there is no tolerance for diversity and male ballet dancers. Billy brings a sense of change into the film as he leads his family to become more tolerant and respectful. He is successful in a way that Jacky(father) learns that stereotyping is wrong and that people should be free to follow their dreams. In the beginning of the feature film Billy’s brother and father feel that Billy doing Ballet would disgrace their family and make them seem less masculine. In the end Jacky and Tony learn that masculinity is social construction and sports and activities are not equivalent to homosexuality. By breaking out into the world as a ballet dancer Billy shows the community that stereotypical imagery forces people to hide who they really are when following your dream can make you happy and not powerless. Billy does this by not being afraid to express himself by dancing. He is committed and does not give up which sets a good example...
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