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Billy Elliot

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by

Niamh Murray

on 10 December 2014

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Transcript of Billy Elliot

Opening Scene
Culture
Culture is the tastes in art and manners that are favored by a social group, or all the knowledge and values shared by a society.
Class Systems
There are many classes represented in Billy Elliot. The Elliots represent the working class miners who struggle to survive under the hardship of Margaret Thatcher. When Jackie has to burn his late wife's piano for fire wood it shows that the working class had to sacrifice high art and luxuries in order to have the neccessities.
Authority Structures
Political Authority


Setting
Billy Elliot is set in a fictitious North East English mining town called Everington during the 1984-5 Coal Miners Strike, which both Billy's father and brother are involved in.
By Phoebe & Niamh
The predominant colour in this part of the scene is yellow. This shows the ebullience and exuberance of the main character, Billy.
Billy is jumping up and down in this scene which shows that he is trying to escape from his situation but is dragged back down by poverty and prejudice.
What is culture?
In this presentation we will explore the cultural context of the film Billy Elliot.
The area where Billy lives contains many houses cramped together which reflects the claustraphobic society Billy lives in.
In contrast to this, the Wilkinsons show how the middle class is unaffected by political developments such as the miners strike, even though they themselves are dealing with things like unemployment (Mr Wilkinson has lost his job).
Billy's father and brother encounter political authority in the form of Margaret Thatcher's harsh decisions to close mines across Britain.
Authority Billy Encounters
Billy's primary source of authority is his father, and to a lesser extent his brother. They provide a very stereotypical male authority; very dictatorial and seemingly without emotion and compassion. Billy is also under the authority of Mrs. Wilkinson, however she provides a very nurturing authority which helps Billy to grow and develop his talent.
Gender Bias
The most obvious instance of gender bias in the film is against Billy as a ballet dancer. He is repeatedly told that dancing is for girls, that he should be doing boxing, and that dancing makes him a 'poof'. Jackie tells Billy that dancing is 'alright for girls' but that Billy can't do it because he is a boy.
Billy is expected to become a miner just because he is a boy and that is what boys do in the culture he was born into.
Roles of Men and Women
In the film, very rigid gender roles are displayed. Men are shown as masculine bread winners and women only seem to be auxiliary characters. Billy appears to have taken on his mother's role in the home following her death and is probably one of the only characters to break away from the gender roles in the film. Another character who does this is Mrs. Wilkinson, who, since her husband has lost his job, becomes the sole source of income in her household as a ballet teacher.
Language
The language used in the film is very informal.
Many homophobic slurs such as 'poof' are used and it seems that some people using them do not realize the negative connotations that these words carry.
Full transcript