The study of the narration in the international films about the pandemic

  • Chalongrat Chermanchonlamark College of Communication Arts. Rangsit University
Keywords: Pandemic, Films, Narration

Abstract

        This research was a qualitative research study that encompassed textual analysis of 7 inter- national films about the pandemic released during 2000-2020 which were 28 Days Later (2002, England), Beat the Drum (2003, South Africa), Painted Veil (2006, USA), Contagion (2011,USA), The Flu (2013,South Korea), I Am A Hero (2016,Japan), and Songbird(2020,USA). The concepts which formed the research framework comprised 1) Concept of narration 2) Concept of subtext and 3) Concept of pandemic. The research objectives were 1) To study the narration in the inter- national films about the pandemic 2) To study the subtext conveyance in the international films about the pandemic. The research results in accordance with the hypothesis were, as follows;

        1. The narration in the international films about the pandemic were 1) The main characters could be divided into 3 groups; 1.1 The main characters were oftentimes a group of people suffering the pandemic. They were the victims of the pandemic or the failure of management system. 1.2 The villain was the microorganism, transmitter of the disease or human 1.3 The assistant or character which helped the people were physicians, nurses, medical personnel or scientists 2) The conflicts of the story could be divided into 3 groups; 2.1 Conflict between the disease control and the people 2.2 Conflict between the government officers and the people 2.3 Conflict between science and belief or tradition 3) The setting could be divided into 2 dimensions; 3.1 Space, such as the space where the pandemic spread which could be anywhere, either urban or rural areas. 3.2 Time, such as the era when the pandemic occurred which could be in the past, present or future 4) The ending could be divided into 2 ways 4.1 Resolved ending. Most films end when the situation was resolved and the main characters could find their happiness 4.2 Unresolved ending. The main characters could not find their sustainable happiness.

        2. The international films about the pandemic conveyed the subtext, as follows; 1) The subtexts conveyed through the characters could be divided into 3 groups. 1.1 The main characters were the people trying to survive the pandemic through self-reliance and mutual support. 1.2 The villain was the pandemic existing in the society or any unknown microorganism which could spread in the future. This microorganism could mutate. Oftentimes, the person who could overcome the microorganism was the medical personnel or the efficient administration. If the villain was a hu- man, the people would be able to overcome the villain by themselves. 1.3 The assistant efficiently saving the people from the pandemic were the physician, nurse, medical personnel or scientist knowledgeable in the systematic microorganism management. 2) The subtexts conveyed through the conflict could be divided into 3 groups. 2.1 The conflict between the disease control and the people. This could be resolved through the people’s cooperation. 2.2 The conflict between the government officers and the people. This could be resolved through the humanitarian and proper duty performance of the government officers. They should not regard the people as the burden needed to be eliminated. 2.3 The conflict between science and belief or tradition. This could be resolved through the proper education among the public which requires time and mutual trust. 3) The subtext conveyed through the setting in the movie. The settings in the movie could be divided into 2 groups. 3.1 Space. The movie conveyed the subtext that the microorganism could spread anywhere either urban or rural areas. But the spread was more severe in the urban area. 3.2 Time. The movie conveyed the subtext that the pandemic has long existed from the past to the present, and would still exist in the future. Throughout history, humans fought with the pandemic. Although the humanity experienced the great loss, it could still survive. 4) The subtext conveyed through the ending of the movie: The ending could be divided into 2 ways. 4.1 Resolved ending. Most films in this study ended this way. The resolved situation and happy people conveyed the subtext that humans would eventually survive the pandemic. 4.2 Unresolved ending. The films barely ended this way. The conveyed subtext was that the pandemic would never be totally defeated. Humans only temporarily overcame the difficulties or obstacles, but would suffer another pandemic again in the future.

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Published
2021-09-01