Sunday, 3 January 2016
Textual Analysis & Representation: Hotel Babylon- Ethnicity (Christmas 50)
This extract is from Hotel Babylon and focuses on Ethnicity.
The use of the non diegetic sound of up-tempo music beings to build tension as panic is spread throughout the hotel. The fast beat could be seen as a reflection of the heartbeats of those who are trying to escape from the immigration services. The panic is further shown by the diegetic sound of the overlapping voices. The vocal collage helps to build the tension and emphasises how scared the workers are. A sound bridge is used from the moment immigration leave to when Jackie is cleaning out Ibrahim's locker. The beat is still present however a soft melody is placed over the top to emphasise the mood of sympathy and devastation. The dialogue used also helps to reflect ethnicity. The moment the male from the immigration services mentions his job title it is evident that they are searching for illegal immigrants. When Jackie is informed of their arrival she immediately rushes to the kitchen and yells out 'immigration' in multiple languages. This automatically confirms that there are multiple ethnic backgrounds present.
The different ethnic backgrounds are also shown when the camera pans across the dining room where all of the cleaners, chefs etc are having their meal. They are seen to be separated into groups of people who share the same background and are chatting away in their own languages. This is different however for the black male and female. It is evident that they come from different backgrounds as he is saying Grace before eating whereas the female is patiently waiting for him to finish before she eats; showing her respect for his beliefs. This shows that she could have sat with others who are similar to her in the sense that she has no beliefs, but she sits with Adam as they look similar. Close ups are used to show the panic on Jackie's face as she realises Ibrahim is not in the cupboard with the rest of them. A mixture of close ups and mid shots are also used to capture Adam helping the woman who is having a hypoglycaemic attack. This is where he reveals that he hasn't always been a cleaner; which reflects the stereotype that immigrants, such as those with an African and European background, take the jobs which are looked down upon by the majority of the white British population.
Continuity editing is used to show time moving on and adds a sense of realism to the narrative. Cross cutting is used to show the contrast between the immigrants who are safe in the cupboard and how exposed Ibrahim is to the immigration services; showing his capture. The extract follows a linear narrative and uses a shot reverse shot when the head of immigration is talking to the manager as they both have a sense of authority so are separate on screen instead of using a two shot.
Costume contributes to the representation of ethnicity as all of the immigrants are shown to be in workers uniforms and the other characters are in suits and professional uniforms to highlight authority. Stereotypically white people are seen to have the better jobs and earn more money such as managers and high roles within services like immigration so they are represented to have posh clothing. The red uniform of Ibrahim could be interpreted as a way of portraying the danger he is in as red has connotations of danger and trouble. The change in lighting from the bright lively hotel to the dark dim cupboard emphasises to the audience that they are in hiding and don't know what could happen next.