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Snow Falling On Cedars Essay

880 words - 4 pages

A truly engrossing cinematic experience, 'Snow Falling on Cedars' is a fascinating, complex film that uses symbolism to portray its ideas. It is a powerful story that deals with big life issues such as love, loss, hate and everything else in between. The personal issues of the characters symbolise the larger conflicts in the world outside of the tranquil village. The framing of shots are carefully done, filled with dark hues that provoke nostalgia and emotion. The widescreen composition allows the striking images to breathe, creating a visually stunning film accompanied by an incredible score.

While the important issues of life are explored, the small details are not forgotten. An extreme ...view middle of the document...

The character’s monologues overlap each other to highlight and strengthen the impact of the actors’ dialogue.

The fog and snow are used to symbolise hidden secrets and how nothing can stay hidden forever. They are a security blanket in keeping Ishmael and Hatsue’s relationship a secret, however the fog eventually clears and the snow goes away as the secrets are revealed. Fog is used in the opening scene showing Carl Heine Jnr. dead and floating underwater, and throughout the movie the fog can be seen covering the secrets of the sea. The snow, like the fog, also covers the racism within the town and trial.

In the flashback scenes where young Ishmael and Hatsue climb into the cedar tree as the rain begins pouring down, the camera is positioned inside the tree which gives the viewers a sense of intimacy between the characters and how they are hidden from the outside world. The fact that they kept their relationship a secret and had to run away so they could avoid discrimination depicts the ‘us vs. them’ attitude that society has. In this scene, only the outlines of the characters’ figures are shown so you are unable to determine their race, conveying the message that race is irrelevant when it comes to love.

When Hatsue’s father is arrested and taken to a work camp after authorities found dynamite in their home, the camera focuses on the father as he tearfully writes to his family and then zooms out to reveal a gymnasium which is fully occupied by Japanese men. This scene portrays how the Japanese were treated like slaves, and by zooming out their horrible...

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