Misrepresentations In Film Analysis

1589 Words 7 Pages
The film industry produces popular representations of a variety of social and cultural experiences that reach large audiences. In certain films, these representations are negative and have the power to misrepresent a group of people. Throughout the history of film, the portrayal of people with disabilities has included narratives that do not necessarily reflect the diverse experience of disability. These narratives are constructed around reductive images that exist to serve the film’s purpose rather than portraying the experience of disability. For that matter, representations of people with disabilities are often displayed in contrast to the ‘normal’ bodies in the film. This paper explores representations in the films Freaks (1932), The Elephant Man (1980), and The Theory of Everything (2014) to show how these films depict dis/abilty as reflected in the recurring narrative and representational devices of fear, pity, and admiration, which, in turn, reveal certain assumptions regarding the film’s representation of normalcy. …show more content…
The main plot concerns a dwarf named Hans (Harry Earles) who falls in love with the performer Cleopatra (Olga Baclanova), who is an able bodied woman. This affair is portrayed as complicated because of the size difference between the two characters which represents the dichotomy of ‘normal’ and disabled bodies. Freida (Dasiy Earles), who is in love with Hans, is jealous of Hans’s attraction for Cleopatra. In addition to this central love plot, the other freak shows performers have agency in their own character developments. For the most part they are portrayed as round characters, such as the conjoined twins, played by famed performers the Hilton Sisters, who both have established relationship with some of the performers. On the other hand, other freak show performers are relegated to the back ground and only become useful in the film’s horrifying

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