Bra Boys - a Documentary Case Study

1696 Words Sep 10th, 2013 7 Pages
Bra Boys Practice Essay
Documentaries reinforce or criticise dominant representations of groups in society. Discuss in relation to a documentary you have studied.
Images are a complex communication tool – the intention of the creator and the interpretation of the viewer may not be harmonizing. While Bra Boys seeks to criticise their infamous reputation as an anti-social and law-breaking gang, the construction of the documentary has reinforced that dominant representation of the surf group. Sunny Abberton’s documentary of dissent, Bra Boys (2007) is constructed to critique the dominant representation of the notorious societal group – “Bra Boys” by telling the story from the point of view directly from the underbelly of Maroubra itself. The
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This example clearly confirms the idea that documentaries are highly constructed, offering a particular version of reality which to different viewers may reinforce or critique the dominant representations of the “Bra Boys”. The documentary does include elements which clearly function to criticise and change the dominant representations by valourising Koby Abberton’s achievements in the surfing arena.

The inclusion of footage of Koby surfing successfully at a turbulent time with the law had the purpose to re-channel the focus from the negative aspects of the “Bra Boys” history to the favourable events that portray them as surfing legends. Abberton was strongly promoting the moral that the “Bra Boys” as a whole, turn their disadvantage into success as the surf was their saviour. Koby Abberton was the figurehead for this storyline and by the use of his career achievements; it effectively cancelled out the negative judgements that could arise from his court case. The use of extreme long shots of the giant waves in Tahiti and Hawaii and the small surfer riding the mammoth waves acted a strong symbol. The relative size of the wave which was further emphasised by the choice of camera shot represents the amount of variables against Koby Abberton – representing the “Bra Boys”.
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