Changi Extended Response

Table of Content

John Doyle’s Changi episodes revolve around the plight of Australian prisoners of war, specifically the struggles of six young Australian men. Each character’s deepest struggle within the camp is explored, shedding light on their individual experiences. The episodes touch upon various themes such as power and the atrocities of war. These themes are also prominent in Edward Zwick’s 2006 film ‘Blood Diamond’, which depicts a country torn apart by the conflict between the government and rebel forces.

According to the Macquarie dictionary, Power is the possession of controlling influence that a person or object holds over someone or something. The theme atrocities of war can be defined as the quality of being shockingly cruel and inhumane as a result of war. Within each episode, techniques are used to emphasize these themes such as dialogue, descriptive language, zooming, cross cutting, sound effects, and camera angles. The episode ‘Seeing is believing’ from John Doyle’s Changi expertly utilizes the theme of Power.

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In the episode, power is exemplified by the Japanese people. One scene features a Japanese Lieutenant standing on a pedestal, dictating the rules of the camp to the POW’s. The Lieutenant explicitly declares, “Anyone attempting to depart will meet their demise. Any individual stealing food from the Chinese will meet their demise. Any man engaging in trade will meet their demise!” This quote showcases power through its descriptive language, while the Lieutenant’s elevated position relative to the POW’s indicates his superior status.

The camera highlights the dominance and strength of the Japanese Lieutenant’s face while he states the rules. Conversely, it then switches to a close-up shot of the fearful and weak prisoners of war (POW’s). This technique underscores the superior power held by the Japanese people over the POW’s. Another display of power is depicted in the ‘Curley’ episode, where the Japanese Lieutenants severely punish Curley for stealing a can of food, sending him into solitary confinement.

The camera captures a mid shot of Curley, who is only partially dressed and covered in mud. This serves to highlight the inhumane treatment inflicted upon him, allowing the audience to visualize the immense power possessed by the Japanese to subject a fellow human being to such conditions. Edward Zwick’s film, ‘Blood diamond’, similarly addresses the theme of power. In one particular scene, the Rebel group known as the R.U.F invades the village of Cierra Leone. They capture innocent men and proceed to amputate their limbs as a means of discouraging them from participating in the upcoming elections.

During the invasion of the village, eerie music is played to foreshadow the impending tragedy caused by the R. U. F. Simultaneously, the camera zooms in on the faces of both the innocent villagers and their limbs being amputated, creating a powerful visual connection. These techniques aim to highlight the strength and control exerted by the R. U. F.

John Doyle’s episodes, ‘Private Bill’ and ‘Pacifying the angels’, effectively showcase the theme of the horrors of war. In ‘Private Bill’, the atrocity is portrayed through the actions of the Japanese towards the prisoners of war (POWs). One specific scene depicts Captain Tanaka visiting Changi camp to inspect the troops. Captain Tanaka selects Lofty Morgan, an Australian POW, and commands him to run across the premises within a time limit of 5 seconds, with a gun pointed at him. Unfortunately, Lofty fails to meet the challenge, and as a result, Tanaka shoots him in the head.

The camera uses a bird’s eye view to show deceased Lofty, the other POWs around him, and the Japanese commanders walking away. This technique is used to show the audience the horrifying act of war committed by the Japanese commander against Lofty Morgan. This theme is also explored in the episode ‘Pacifying the Angles’, where the defeated Japanese men lose control and release their anger through a massacre of the POWs.

The technique of a bird’s eye view is employed to demonstrate the brutality of war inflicted upon POW’s by the Japanese people. This theme of war atrocities is also depicted in Edward Zwick’s 2006 film ‘Blood Diamond’. In one particular scene, the R. U. F is seen instructing young children to kill those who disrespect them, with the quote “shed their blood” serving as evidence. The use of vivid language in this statement highlights the horrific nature of war imposed on these children. The scene then escalates into a massacre, further emphasized by the bird’s eye view perspective, aimed at emphasizing the atrocity of war inflicted upon innocent villagers. In conclusion, it is clear that both John Doyle’s Changi miniseries and Edward Zwick’s film Blood Diamond effectively embody the themes of power and war atrocities. The episodes ‘Seeing is believing’, ‘Curley’, and the film ‘Blood Diamond’ showcase instances where both the Japanese and the R. U. F assert their dominance.

The Changi episodes, ‘Private Bill’ and ‘Pacifying the angels’, as well as Zwick’s film, depict the atrocities of war. Both the R. U. F and the Japanese commit brutal acts against innocent people due to war. The themes presented in John Doyle’s Changi miniseries and Edward Zwick’s film ‘Blood diamond’ are effectively supported through various techniques such as dialogue, descriptive language, zooming, cross cutting, sound effects, and camera angles.

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Changi Extended Response. (2018, Jun 04). Retrieved from

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