Most feature films are made to position viewers to respond to the characters and issued conveyed in a particular way.
The Hurricane, a biographical film directed by Norman Jewison, explores the idea how black people were treated during the Civil Rights Movement in 1960’s America. This film uses Rubin ‘Hurricane’ Carter as an example of the discrimination against black people suffered in this time. The director used SWAT codes to position the viewer to respond to he injustice that Rubin Carter faced and his determination to prove his innocence.Symbolic Codes were intertwined into the film to give the viewer a visual impact which positioned them to respond in a particular way.
Rubin Carter, the main protagonist who was a famous boxer, started crying during is solitary confinement in jail for 90 days in a small, dark cell. This shows the viewer that a strong man like carter can be brought to tears due to unfair sentencing for three homicieds he did not commit. When the Hurricane went to court for his first fair trial, he passed Della Pesca, a racist white cop and enemy of Carter, a superiority smirk.This symbolic facial expression showed that the boxer was confident of being set free and disappoint the racist Della Pesca who was behind him being wrongly convicted.
During Rubin Carter’s first court attendance, the judge said, “You are awarded a full and fair trial”. The boxer, after hearing this, looked at the Jury Table. There were only white Jurors. This piece of evidence shows that the protagonist was not given a fair trial.
These were the ways Jewison used to explore the effect in justice had on Rubin Carter.Audio codes are another ingredient added to Jewison’s recipe to The Hurricane. This includes sound effects, background music and dialogues. Without using audio codes, the viewer cannot feel the emotion of that particular scene.
There was a slow, singles-note piano music when Rubin Carter was brought down to tears during his 90 days solitary confinement. This makes the viewer share the emotions with the broken down boxer. Rubin Carter was totally different from other jail mates. He said in reference to his life in prison, “When the others sleep, I’m awake.
When the others are awake, I sleep. ” This quote which was carefully constructed shows that the main protagonist was a rebel and his cause was his fight for freedom and to prove his innocence. The boxer was given the verdict of guilty by the Jury consisting of white people. There were screams of despair from Mea Thelma, Rubin Carter’s wife, right after the verdict.
The crying from Mrs. Carter makes the viewer feel that rubin was given the wrong verdict and feel sympathetic towards the Carters.There was a rising of violin music when the judge sentenced him to life in prison. This background music shows the turnaround of the boxer’s life ant the rising action of the film.
These were the audiocodes used by the director to show the unfair treatment of Rubin Carter. The director used lighting, camera shots and camera angles to explore this film. During Carter’s time in jail, the use of extreme close ups in his face were used to show the affect of solitary confinement has on Rubin Carter. This shows the reader that the boxer was suffering from split personality.
These facial expressions were of depression of being wrongly convicted. To support the situation, the background lighting around the boxer’s face was dark with a dim light falshing at him. This lighting effect creates a mood full of despair and hell for the broken down boxer. The boxing matches were shown in black and white.
This makes the viewer feel that the boxing match was a real event that occurred in the past and maybe a distant memory for Carter who was now in jail. This were the technical codes Jewison used to enhance into this film.