Cinema and Community by Derek Mckiernan

By Derek Mckiernan

Within the first book-length examine of this subject, D.W. McKiernan examines the way in which mainstream advertisement cinema represents society's advanced dating with the belief and perform of neighborhood within the context of swiftly altering social stipulations. motion pictures tested contain  Fond Kiss, The Idiots and Monsoon marriage ceremony.

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But they can be warm, peaceful and generous social formations too. 12 There is, of course, much more to be said about the idea and practice of community. The simple distinction I have proposed between ‘good’ community and ‘bad’ community will not hold. There is another way of thinking, for example, about the distinction between the communities represented by Babette’s Feast and The Magdalene Sisters. The idea Representing the Ambivalence of Community 35 of community in The Magdalene Sisters is of a community that is once and for ever, already fully formed; one that people are allowed or are forced to join or from which they are permanently excluded.

Babette’s attitude towards the community is also open. She offers herself and her future to the sisters and the community unreservedly. Ethics, of course, are relatively easy to present in an allegory and Babette’s Feast is an allegorical film about the ethics of communal hospitality, openness and absolute responsibility to the other whether or not the other is a stranger, a potential friend or enemy. In stark contrast, Peter Mullan’s The Magdalene Sisters is a historically specific film about the absence of ethics and particularly of the denial of the right to be ethical.

Kevin (Sean McDonagh), we learn, has persuaded his cousin Margaret to ‘see something’. Having tricked her into going upstairs with him he rapes her. Meanwhile the ceilidh is underway and amidst a whooping and a hollering everyone appears to be enjoying themselves. Mullan, however, discreetly shows us Margaret who has returned downstairs and is looking distressed. Other women begin to notice her too and one young woman goes to her side and they talk. Once again Mullan does not let the audience hear what is being said, the music is too loud.

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