Slumming It Essay

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Documentaries are constructions that offer different views of reality that persuades an audience to accept the version they offer by altering our attitudes or ideologies. The 2010 documentary ‘Slumming It’, by Kevin McCloud demonstrates this concept, through an investigation into one of the most extreme urban environments on earth: Dharavi, Mumbai. This documentary explores the idea that, as quoted by Prince Charles: “the west has much to learn from societies and places that are poorer in material terms, are in many senses influentially richer in the ways they live as communities.” The term used, ‘the west,’ indicates that this documentary is targeted at an audience of people living in first world countries, which are economically strong, such as Australia. Through the use of construction processes of choice of shots, a focaliser, an enigma, supporting evidence and rhetorical devices the documentary was strongly effective in changing ones attitudes and ideologies. The focaliser in ‘Slumming It’ is Kevin McCloud, a British designer, writer and television presenter. Through the documentary McCloud consistently expresses his opinions on Dharavi and aims to solve the enigma that this slum is claimed to have a strong sense of community, high employment rate, little crime and a model for sustainable living. Kevin McCloud’s opinions in the opening scenes of the film reinforce the audience’s attitudes of poverty stricken, disease rife slums. He says “When I think of a slum, the thing I think of is misery. And for people to say they are intensely happy, I don’t buy that.” These relatable personal opinions and camera shots of McCloud experiencing the extremes of the slum give him a persona of a genuinely interested and honest investigator. This positions the audience to respect him and adds an air of credibility which encourages the audience to accept the information as reliable and encourages them to accept the views being promoted by Kevin McCloud. Juxtaposition is...
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