Lighting, framing, camera angles, and music are two elements of film that can evoke strong emotional responses called textual features of film. Many of these features are prevalent in the film Not Without My Daughter. This film is set in the 1980’s during the Iranian Revolution. The Mahmoody family consists of husband and wife, Moody and Betty, and their daughter, Mahtob, who decide to visit Iran. In Iran, Moody decides to keep his family but Betty does not want to stay. Betty tries to escape multiple times but Moody catches her and resorts to beating his wife in attempts to keep her there. Brian Gilbert used textual features such as lighting, camera angles, shots and music to demonstrate the conflict between the members of the Mahmoody family.
Early in the movie there is a scene where Betty learns that Moody has no intentions of leaving Iran. Lighting and framing are used then to reflect the conflict. The room they are in is dark with very little light coming through a window. This low key lighting reflects the feelings of despair Betty feels. She feels Iran is a very primitive country and not a suitable place for her child to be raised. In addition, framing and angles are used to present the differences in power. Low angles shots are used to show Moody. The low angles reflect the power Moody has in the Iranian society. In contrast, high angle shots display Betty’s lack of power, making her look small and weak. The differing angles and contrasting power they reflect foreshadow future confrontations between Betty and Moody. Lighting and framing were effectively used to show the shift in power in Iran.
Later on in the movie, Moody finds Betty at the school and starts beating her, and when Mahtob stands up to her father he hits her too. In this scene shots and framing are used to reflect the dominance of males in Iran. First, Brian Gilbert uses a high angle show Moody beating Betty. This shot effectively reflects how helpless Betty is in the Iranian culture...
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