Social Justice Video Essay

Social Justice Video Essay

hi my name is Adam Gaucho in this video essay I will be tackling the ways in which an effective social justice film is made today’s focus will be on Dallas buyers club which is the prototype of such a genre garnering six Academy Award nominations including Best Picture and taking home three Oscars according to reporter Richard Lawson of the Atlantic Dallas buyers club is a movie about tolerance about Ron’s journey towards social enlightenment about one an open mind grants won access to and in that vein it’s a lovely lively character study first off for social justice film to work it has to be believable so let’s start with the genre of the film Dallas buyers club is a biographical drama that means it is based on the real life of Dallas bull rider Ron Woodroof rod becomes inflicted with the HIV virus at the height of its sweep amongst the sexually active in America in the 1980s this leads me to my next point the inciting incident of a social justice film has to be an obstacle that seems impossible to overcome doctors tell our protagonist Ron that he has merely 30 days to live they have yet to discover a cure or even a simple proactive treatment plan it is up to the protagonist then to react to the inciting incident heroically so Ron sets up a club team the Dallas buyers club it’s outside of his motel room where the sickly flock to get alternative drugs that worked expanding their life spans longer than many doctors could even imagine along the way Ron bravely and successfully defies the FDA’s orders to cease operations on his buyers club and continue to save and maintain not only what’s left of his own life but the life of many others yes this really happened and because it really happened it couldn’t be more believable but in order to make an effective social justice film you cannot just spit back the words of a biography it’s important how you tell the story the film is linear there’s no jumping in and out of time periods because the film is linear the audience sees not merely the eventual deterioration that the AIDS virus does to our protagonists raising the stakes but also shows his growth in care development over time Ron’s character arc goes from a homophobic alcoholic gambling drug addict to a tolerant sympathetic hard-working revolutionary the film’s colorization coincides with this notion as well according to plot chicks color wheel gray represents sadness disgust and remorse there is a greatness in dullness to each of the shots in the beginning half of the film this dullness conveys the feeling of hopelessness doom and the fatalist thinking that is going through our protagonists mind when he is diagnosed with HIV a true death sentence things changes Ron’s character develops as a film goes on the lighting becomes brighter and the shots are more illuminated plutchik states that brightness is associated with joy trust and love this fits perfectly within the narrative as Ron fights on despite his illness he’s actually growing stronger and helping thousands of people along the way the hate in his heart disappears and he even befriends the most unlikely as the past which will be discussed shortly as his mental state improves the shots improved visually another important aspect of a social justice film is how the archetypes interact with each other first there needs to be a character in the way of change preserving the old ways of the past Richard Barclay is this character Barclays archetype is a simple one he’s the villain he’s the lead FDA agent on the case against Ron his job is to prevent Ron from illegally selling and distributing drugs that are not yet fda-approved even though these are the drugs that are actually helping people and extending HIV and AIDS patients lives Berkeley doesn’t care his only and main concern is to take down Ron’s operation and to preserve the in justices of the past then of course you have your hero who looks to break down boundaries of the past and provide positive change Ron’s archetype is that of the film’s hero he serves as the voice of thousands of HIV and AIDS patients and works dutifully to find modernists in the expanse not just his lifespan but thousands of others as the hero he does not however fit the classical narrative prototype Ronn instead proves to be a sort of antihero because of his initial morality intolerance addictions and profiteering nature he also serves as the archetype of a mentor to rayon along their journey together now rayon is a transwoman inflicted with the same disease as Ron rayon is a very important character because she goes against everything classical film entails she leaves the life of a straight white man instead makes a conscious decision to transition into the minority as a trans woman her archetype can be summed up as the film’s gesture her flamboyant ways and take no attitude provides comic relief to an otherwise emotionally heavy-hitting story her infectious personality wins over even the most intolerant Ron who decides to go into business with her not only to make as much money as possible but to save as many lives as possible rayons character also serves as proof of Ron’s character development Ron although intolerant of rayon at first gets so close to rayon that he weeps when she passes away rayon is not the only character that helps run along the way in order for social justice film to work the protagonist must motivate a group of people to help spark change along with subsidary characters dr. Eve also provides this help she’s a young doctor eager to help her patients the best way she can upon realizing the AZT the drug the drug most commonly used to treat HIV and AIDS patients it’s actually killing her patients more quickly she threatens to resign at the hospital she works at she rests not only her job but sacrifices time and effort into insuring her patients are properly taken care of making her archetype that of the innocent so let’s sum up what makes a great social justice film first it has to be believable thus they tend to be biographical there has to be an inciting incident something seemingly impossible to overcome it has to be linear there must be mood set in color the archetypes have to react to each other there isn’t just a hero there isn’t just a villain rather many people working together and against one another to bring a common goal of change there needs to be solid character development there needs to be strong character arcs things have to change justice has to be served

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