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To what extent are cultures well-represented in movies?

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Par   •  7 Décembre 2019  •  Discours  •  693 Mots (3 Pages)  •  474 Vues

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To what extent are cultures well-represented in movies?

An exchange is the act of giving or receiving something in substitution for something else. In today’s modern-day world, these exchanges are done beyond states borders, thanks to the advent of the internet and international trade. As a result, those interactions have enabled us to expand our markets for goods and services that might not have been available to us.

In order to illustrate the notion, I am therefore going to focus on films which are an outstanding tool to transmit a culture across the world. Some movie makers even find inspiration in foreign cultures and try to represent and picture them in their work.

However, this leads to the question: To what extent are cultures well-represented in films?

First, we studied in class the cultural representation made by Disney in its movies. Its very respectable aim is to show children the cultural diversity in the world they live in, but sometimes this representation is distorted, quite cliché. This point is illustrated in the film The Princess and the Frog, created in 2010 and picturing black characters in New-Orleans in the early 20th century. At the time the story is supposed to take place, segregation and racism were very visible in the South of The US and in Louisiana. However, in the extract we saw, the black heroin works for the wealthy white man but they have a mutual respectful relationship. This highlights the fact that racism wasn’t blatantly mentioned, even though white and black people are separated in the transports and habitations in the movie. Indeed, Disney was blamed for this, as the multinational was accused of hiding the crude truth even if it was meant to be less shocking for children. This could also be interpreted as a wish to avoid showing racial stereotypes that could influence children.

Moreover, this movie was accused of being stereotypical also because of the exaggerated African American accents of the black characters. Indeed, the subtlety of accents is extremely important in movies, because they represent a whole culture. According to Paul Taylor, an English YouTuber we studied in class, dubbing is a bad thing because it doesn’t retranscribe well the accents. To illustrate his point of view, he gives the example of James Bond, the iconic British hero, whose accent was completely denatured after being dubbed in French. I actually think dubbing is nonsense, because we lose the originality of the English language. Dubbing also erases the director’s vision, and doesn’t help to discover and learn foreign languages, a useful thing to encounter the cultural diversity of the world.

This problem is quite the same with translating names in movies. The most convincing example of this problem is Harry Potter: in the translation of the original English books and movies, the translator did a great job as he succeeded in keeping the names as English-sounding as possible; for instance, he traduced Hogwarts by Poudlard. He even gave more sense to some names in his translation; for example, Ravenclaw became the equivalent in French of Eagleclaw, which is more appropriate with the symbol of the House, an eagle.

However, adapting a culture is not always a good way to represent it. We studied different works based on the Japanese manga Death Note, and we


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