The Hurricane - Written Word

Topics: Rubin Carter, The Hurricane, Paterson, New Jersey Pages: 3 (1185 words) Published: November 3, 2009
Describe an important idea in the film. Explain how visual and verbal features helped you to understand this idea. “Writing is a weapon more powerful than fists could ever be.” Norman Jewison highlights the power of the written word and education over physical strength throughout The Hurricane. He allows the audience to realise the full extent of this power by employing camera techniques, voiceovers, dialogue and lighting effectively. Through these visual and verbal techniques he teaches the audience that in the end it is the written word that frees Rubin Carter from wrongful imprisonment, not his “fists”. ‘The Sixteenth Round’, Rubin Hurricane Carter’s autobiography,is a symbol of his innocence and search for freedom. Rubin recognises that “that book” is his only chance to convey the truth to the rest of the world. Jewison highlights thefact that the book is “the only thing [Rubin’s] got left” in prison through the use of close-ups when we are first introduced to Rubin. He uses a close-up of Rubin’s face, which allows us to see the anger and aggression he is feeling. When Rubin says “that book is the only chance I got to get out of here,” the audience realises that the aggression Rubin is showing isin fact his way of protecting his book – protecting his innocence and the truth that will eventually set him free. The power of the written word is reinforced by the straight on shot used for Rubin in the opening scene. This shot shows the audience that Rubin is the protagonist of the filmas even though he is shown to be aggressive a low angle is not used to portray him as menacing. He is a good character in the film; therefore his book is sincere and honest. The audience sees that Rubin values the book as to him it represents his struggle. We also come to understand that Rubin looks to violent threats, e.g. “thefirst one through that door is gonna die,” before he talks rationally with the guard. This teaches us that at the start of the film physical strength is...
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