Representation of North America in the Films of Santiago Alvarez.

Hi, need to submit a 2500 words paper on the topic Representation of North America in the Films of Santiago Alvarez. The films exemplify the continent inhabitants’ interactions with those in the said continent and those elsewhere. The films were not only meant for entertainment but to also emphasize the social injustices that went on in the continent and through its inhabitants’ actions. His films focused on the repercussions or effects of people’s actions, as opposed to the mainstream films which only focus on the effect rather than the cause of injustices. We also note that Santiago’s films were focused on communication, as films were viewed as tools of communication. However, films in the mainstream Western front only serve to satisfy the monetary interests of the stakeholders in the industries. All of Santiago’s films have musical undertones (Rist 2007, p. 64). This represents the North American culture as one which accepted music as a form of presentation and communication. This is also seen from the Western mainstream where Hollywood, for instance, has absorbed the musical culture into film making. This is seen by musical themes in movies and further shown in the production of musicals.

In his film Now of (1964), Santiago portrays the civil rights abuses in the North American continent. Through the still pictures, we can clearly see the oppression of the masses, especially those deemed as socially irrelevant such as the blacks. The film calls for change by people standing up to protect their civil rights. The mainstream Western media, however, paints the picture of the upholding of people’s civil rights, which is both misleading and malicious. Hollywood, for instance, depicts the North American continent as one where civil rights abuses are unheard of whereas, through Santiago’s film, this assumption is rendered inaccurate. In this film, no voices are heard, which goes to further clarify the people’s reluctance to speak out and act in the face of such adversity. Moreover, it portrays the people as having been forcefully silenced by the oppressors, which are principally the powerful men in North American society. The civil rights abuses show the people as going contrary to their constitution, which upholds the right to speech, movement, and freedom of all individuals. In the film, Santiago uses Lena Horne’s musical prowess to demonstrate the historic heroes of humanity in North America, people such as Lincoln, Washington, and Jefferson who are represented as fighting to preserve the exclusive rights of all people in the continent and elsewhere. The civil rights violations shown in this film center around racism shown by North Americans. The splitting up of the screen into three parts in the first scene of the film conveys a sense of segregation among the people of North America. As noted, this segregation emanates from discrimination of minority groups along racial lines, and disregard for their rights (Rist 2007, p. 74).

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