Practice exam questions 2 with notes
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  • Get them to write this down from the board (10mins)
  • Fate and fortune – suggested by the dice that open the film. 5. Hope. This theme runs through the film. There is the hope of the baby’s parents. There is the hope suggested by Morris’ gambling on horses. And there is hope even in Tsotsi’s desire to fund Boston’s return to college in © Film Education. Not for commercial use. pursuit of a teacher qualification. There are also lots of example of the opposite of hope – of cynicism, of materialism and of fatalism – can you spot where these are represented in the film? What do these different hope ‘ moments’ suggest to you and are they enough to offset these more negative forces? 6. Decency. It is a word that is introduced by Boston. Is it, as he suggests, something that is derived from education? He also suggests that ‘decency’, or what remains of it in him, caused him to be sick after the killing of the big man. What do you understand by this? And what other examples of decency can you spot in the film? Consider the following: the man trying on his tie at the station and dressed smartly for work; the way Miriam copes with life without a husband and makes a home for her child; the way Morris decorates his make-shift wheelchair; the Dube’s house and possessions; John Dube’s attitude to his possessions when confronted by Tsotsi and his gang when they stage a raid on his house; and Boston’s drinking. Does Tsotsi’s reconciliation with Boston represent decency – remember it puts Boston at some risk. Also is Tsotsi’s killing of Butcher an aspect of decency? And finally how does the final scene represent decency triumphing?

Practice exam questions 2 with notes Presentation Transcript

  • 1. EXPLORING FILMS OUTSIDE HOLLYWOOD The best way of learning what knowledge is required for this unit is to look at the exam questions. We’re going to be going through the exam questions and deciding the best way to answer them the numbers in brackets refer to the amount of marks available for that question.
  • 2. EXTRA INFO
    • The word "tsotsi" means a black urban criminal, a street thug or gang member in the vernacular of black townships in South Africa. Tsotsis are usually part of the urban youth gang society that grew up on the streets of the ghetto. Their history goes back to the famous youth gangs of the 1930s in the Soweto township area outside Johannesburg.
    • Today the word is used more generally as a name for displaced young criminals. Whereas in the past the word Tsotsi tended to conjure up a glamorous gangster image, today the word is more usually associated with younger street gangs whose lives are often far from glamorous.
  • 3. 1. Name and briefly describe the main character from your close study film? (2)
    • What is the main characters name?
    • Make sure you have the correct spelling?
    • Does the name mean anything?
    • Can you give any back ground information on him that might help us to understand him?
  • 4. 2. Say why you think this character is the main character (3)
    • Is he key to the narrative? In what way?
    • How do other characters relate to him?
    • How have the micro elements been used in certain parts of the films to communicate his importance?
    • How have the macro elements been used in certain ways to communicate his importance?
  • 5. 3. Choose another character who is in conflict with the main character. How does the film show this conflict? (5)
    • Name the character? (spell correctly)
    • Describe what this character is like?
    • Reference at least 1 moment when conflict is shown?
    • - What was said? (quote from the film)
    • - How did the characters react to each other?
    • - Why is there conflict? Was there a clash of values?
    • Boston is a member of Tsotsi gang who is in conflict with Tsotsi. He seems more educated than the rest of the gang due to the way he speaks and expresses himself. This is what caused the conflict between him and Tsotsi, Boston if affected after the gang mug and murder an innocent man on a train, so much so that he is physically ill. In the shabeen (bar) afterwards questions Tsotsi about decency and tell Tsotsi that he has no decency. He goads Tsotsi and asks him about name, his real name, and also about his mother, all the while Tsotsi just stares at him with a cold look, and we can hear the diegetic thunder outside providing pathetic fallacy for the trouble that Boston is bringing on to himself. Boston continues on and in graphic detail cuts himself with a bottle to illustrate Tsotsi how he is feeling inside, Boston questions Tsotsi about whether anything has ever made him feel like that inside, he asks him about his mother and father and ask where they are, this question seemed to of hit a nerve as without warning Tsotsi gets up and punches Boston with such fore that he hits the floor, Tsotsi then relentlessly beats Boston doing serve damage to Boston’s his face.
  • 6. 4. Identify one key theme or issue your chosen film raises (2)
    • Decency, Hope, Family, Redemption, Chance, Destiny, Fate any others?
  • 7. 5. Briefly summarise what the film suggests about that theme or issue (6)
    • When are you first made aware of this theme of issue? (what part of the film, what stage of the story?)
    • How is the theme or issue presented to you?
    • What message/moral is the film trying to communicate to the audience about this theme or issue?
    • Does the theme or issue relate the social political context of the film? (does it relate to South Africa’s past or present state?)
    • Decency: We are first made aware of this theme through Boston and it continues to work throughout the film. The film suggests that when you have decency you are able to tell the difference between what is morally wrong and right, and even if you do something wrong your sense of decency, your moral compass should lead you to seek redemption.
  • 8. 5. Briefly summarise what the film suggests about that theme or issue (6)
    • When are you first made aware of this theme of issue? (what part of the film, what stage of the story?)
    • How is the theme or issue presented to you?
    • What message/moral is the film trying to communicate to the audience about this theme or issue?
    • Does the theme or issue relate the social political context of the film? (does it relate to South Africa’s past or present state?)
    • Redemption: We are not truly made aware of this theme until the end sequence of the film where Tsotsi make amends for his actions by returning the baby. The film suggests that even though you may do things wrong, when you face up to the consequences of your actions you will be able to redeem yourself and seek forgiveness from those you have wronged, allowing you to make amends.
  • 9. 6. Choose one important sequence from your close study film. Explore how the film represents its key theme or issue (12)
    • Choose a key sequence that represents the key issue or theme you chose
    • Use micro elements and write and analysis of how the film communicates the theme or issue
    • Decency: The film presents this theme by first showing us that Tsotsi doesn’t have any decency, his actions live up to his name ‘thug’, he is shown to be rude, violent and aggressive with no understanding that there is a consequences for his actions. He is shown to wear a hooded top and a red t-shirt which connotes that he is dangerous. The film defines decency through the use of Boston, who at least twice in the film defines what it means.
    • At the end of the film we are shown that really Tsotsi does know the difference between right and wrong, and is able to face up to the consequences of his action his is shown through the fact that he takes the bay back to it’s parents.
    • Redemption: This theme is presented to the audience towards the end of the film, Tsotsi realises when in conversation with Miriam that he has to take the baby back so that it can have a mother and not be like him growing up without one. Miriam offers to take the baby back for him back he says that he will do it this is a big step as it shows that he is prepared to face up to the consequences of his actions. Tsotsi also goes to apologise to Boston and this is the first time in the film that we see another character make physical contact with Tsotsi showing that Tsotsi hard exterior is breaking, the lighting in this part of film also connotes redemption as it streams through a window and highlights the baby signifying that the bay is key to Tsotsi redemption.
    • Tsotsi continues to right the wrongs he did in the film by giving money to Morris the cripple. When we see Tsotsi walking up to the Dube’s house he is wearing a white shirt to signify the change on the inside on the outside, the short now connotes Tsotsi sense of decency as he walks on the path to redemption.