Monday, 4 January 2016

Hotel Babylon

Discuss the ways in which the extract constructs the representation of ethnicity

In the clip of Hotel Babylon the first shot takes place in what appears to be a storage room of a hotel and shows a white, middle aged man in a fairly sharp looking suit, he is then approached by two policeman, also male and white. The semic code is used in the scene, as his superiority conveyed by his attire and skin colour leads to him being the one that is confronted by fellow men of power, in the two police men.

The following significant scene shows a young white woman dressed in white, who is thought to be a receptionist due to her position behind a desk (semic code). The choice of clothing and the fact that she is front of house, both suggest that she is also in a position of power. This becomes more apparent as a group of border force officers, who are also all white, enter the hotel and immediately engage in conversation with the receptionist. like the first scene this enforces the power that the white employee holds, as she engages and holds the attention of the law enforcers. Fast paced background music is then added to the clip, as a black member of staff is told to go downstairs and warn the illegal immigrants working at the hotel that border force members are present in the hotel. The fast paced music coupled with the faster paced cut rhythm adds suspense as the immigrants are encouraged to lock themselves in a small room to prevent their capture.

Whilst in the small room action code is used to show a woman fainting due to medical conditions (of what appears to be diabetes),a black male begins to treat and give the woman aid immediately. This is a counter-type as black males are generally perceived to be thuggish and have no specialist talents or training in advanced fields, which is not the case in this situation, as his quick instincts indicate some training in medical areas, for this semic code is used.

When the black male cleaner is apprehended a mid-shot is used, this is used to clearly show who is the bad person and that they have captured him. The fact that it shows a black male being arrested is a massive stereotype as it is very common that black males are often depicted as being criminals as the fact this man is follows closely to this stereotype. Also because the man is arrested the audience feel sorry for him and feel pitiful which is a common stereotype that black people are pitied an in this case it being by the audience.

Overall ethnicity stereotypes are used greatly this situation mainly to highlight the storyline that the police are coming to arrest people. But countertypes are also used which shows one of the characters in a better light.

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