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Socio-political Issues Presented in Filmaking

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“Strawberry and Chocolate wants to signify how political and social ideas can be changed through compassion and acceptance, and as Shields (2004, p.242) argues, “through a postmodern process of image making”. As we see the values of David, who navigates through Cuba as a Marxist and committed to the revolution change, as Diego educates and introduces him to a world outside the Castro regime, through rejected American goods and art culture. We see this in the final scene before Diego leaves for Cuba. David is eating the ‘gay’ strawberry ice-cream flavour, as Diego comments to David, “The only problem is that you’re not gay” to which David replies, “Nobody’s perfect” showing acceptance of homosexuality and the process of change. Diego decided to leave Cuba, as Strawberry and Chocolate shows the flaws of revolution (Dennis, 1995) with Diego’s options limited because of his sexuality. For a successful revolution, the government needs to be more open minded about sexuality and culture. However, with the success and breakthrough of Strawberry and Chocolate presenting Cuba’s social and political problems, gay rights within Cuba are now debated and discussed openly (Dennis, 1995).

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Within Moolaadé we witness Sembene’s desire to alter social behaviours in Africa, we see this when Collé explains to her daughter that uncut women are good wives, “A Bilakoro is a good wife” the final word of Amasatou represents the slight glimmer of hope for change within the village, “I am and shall remain a Bilakoro”. Amasatou is not changing herself for a man, and stands for what she believes. Similarly, to Battleship Potemkin, the film can demonstrate how a lone activist, standing for what they believe is a basic human right, can move to a supportive force to change for the better. As we also see hope through the comments of elder, “I regret having my girls cut, Allah as my witness, no other girl will ever be cut”.

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Overall, from the study of Battleship Potemkin, Moolaadé and Strawberry and Chocolate, the spectator is able to critically discuss the different ways in which socio-political issues can be presented in filmmaking. All three films have been a huge success in getting a political and social response whether it has been through cinematic elements, aesthetical cinematics or the power of a strong narrative. Depending on what sort of socio-political issue the director wanted to get across to the audience, would all depend on what sort of filmmaking method he would use. For instance, montage has been used in Battleship Potemkin, to create tension and a powerful individual emotional response. As well as spark political debates and discussion about the issues interwoven within such as class, human rights and religion. Moolaadé, has used the strength of narrative within a strong community of women, to stand up and fight for what they believe is right. No matter what their age in the film, they all have a voice, and they all have an opinion. They are not shown as a victim. Therefore, has the spectator rooting for the women in the story to succeed, and to therefore critically discuss the socio-political issues within contemporary Africa. Lastly, we have Strawberry and Chocolate. Strawberry and Chocolate, does not use any technical aesthetic editing or camera work, but instead uses cinematic elements within its filmmaking in order to discuss socio-political issues. Where these issues may be harder to see straight away, it is still woven into the story, within quotes and character representation.”

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Socio-political issues presented in filmaking. (2018, December 11). GradesFixer. Retrieved June 6, 2023, from
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