TOPIC: ‘People like us have no choice but to be troublemakers.’ Is Eddie Mabo right?
To some extent, the process of Eddie Mabo’s selflessly giving benefits individuals instead of requiring sacrifice. In the film Mabo, the director Rachel Perkins depicts Eddie’s whole life devotion to Aboriginal land right and fight against racism and inequality. Eddie devotes his whole life being a qualified ‘troublemaker’ and in the meantime he also enjoys the outcome of his effort. Racism and inequality are depicted by Perkins as the hidden rules at the start of the film.
Firstly, Eddie has pulled over by the police while he is drunk on the road. Perhaps this is an event for him to stay calm and become more realistic. Although the police let him go, he is already humiliated by the police. After that, Eddie starts to dance the island dance. The dance is very significant. Although he suffered earlier racist treatment, this moment shows the audience that Eddie will not be beaten. He has pride in his soul, in his ancestry and his culture. Later in the film, where Eddie and Bonita are forced to stay in town, Bonita is told “There’s no room love”. With angry and shame, Eddie calls out to the Hotel Manager, “What you think we’re gonna leave our black skin on the sheets!” Perkins use a medium shot to show Eddie and Bonita’s angry expression and body movements. This make the viewer becomes unpleasantly and realized the real effects of unequal treatment. At that time there was no law preventing Indigenous people from staying in hotel rooms at all. The setting of the pub where Eddie visits is a typical example showing how Aborigines are considered as “second-class” in the 1950s’ Australia. Eddie has experience of being taken to the back door for a beer and refused to serve him. At first Eddie accepts this injustice, however, later in the story, he refuses to leave until he is offered the service by protest against the unfair treatment to the barman. This indicates that the social...
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