New Boy and the Multifaceted Concept of Belonging

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Brittany Arcon
Response to New Boy:

Due to abstract nature of the concept of belonging, a sense of acceptance can be found in different predicaments. As each person has their individual desires, needs and values, they can achieve a genuine sense of belonging in various avenues. Many individuals often find a sense of correlation in a relationship as the strongest connection; by nature, these connections fulfil the human need for social interaction and henceforth delineate from other connections with places and objects. Zanzibar’s short film New Boy portrays a transgression from not belonging to achieving a connection with Zac and Christian and thus eliminating his initial feelings of a social pariah. The film explores the deeper meaning of affiliation to people and creates and understanding of the complexity related to belonging in a relationship.

Belonging is shaped via relationships between people places and things. Migrants and refugees often feel a sense of alienation and marginalization in the emotive short film, New Boy by Steph Green, racial differences and lack of acceptance are evident. Camera angles, lighting and dialogue represent this situation. When Joseph is sitting in class and Christian Kelly says, “You’re dead”, depth of field is used to focus in on Joseph’s uncomfortable emotions and the lack of respect he receives from his peers. The viewed gains a greater understanding of Joseph’s new life and the challenges it brings from his new peers in the classroom. The antagonism he experiences highlights the cultural differences between him and his new class in an Irish school. Flashbacks between his present school and his past one with his father as the teacher are employed to expose the positive and appreciative past he has come from. The upbeat and cheerful music, busy background school noise contrast with where he is now and show his past happy life seeping in the present. He is comforted by his flashbacks when working on his mathematics...
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