Culture & Values - An analysis of 'The End and the Beginning' and '71 Fragments of a Chronology of Chance'

1185 WordsMay 26, 20085 Pages
Texts reflect the culture and values of their eras by presenting and addressing perspectives of the composers on the issues of the context. The poem The End and the Beginning by Wislawa Szymborska and the Austrian film 71 Fragments of a Chronology of Chance by Michael Haneke accomplish this by exemplifying issues in 1990s society such as the increasing influence of media and the breakdown of interpersonal communication. The End and the Beginning is a Polish poem by Wislawa Szymborska which captures a wars aftermath on its innocent citizens and how, in time, both the war and its origins are forgotten. It thus shows how the values of a country or society may change over time as the views and opinions of its citizens change. The overall…show more content…
This fragmentation is also visually portrayed through the jigsaw-like paper game. Part-way through the film, a student fails to solve the puzzle leading to an outburst of anger, foreshadowing his final act of violence. Haneke has also used subtle film techniques to add to the sense of a breakdown of communication. The camera is always positioned in such a way that makes the audience feel detached from the characters. Rather than connecting emotionally with the characters, the audience is made to analyse them, thus reflecting the emotionless state which our society has assumed with changing values. The characters themselves are not named, allowing them to become representative of types within society. The use of media is also present throughout the film with Haneke showing the increasingly invasive presence of media within society as values change and mankind becomes more technological and industrialised. By repeating the same articles at the end with the embedding of the films event as another story, Haneke comments on how the media subsumes any disturbance into the even surface of society and integrates it into the unending stream of trivialised information. The film also serves a didactic purpose, as Haneke highlights and criticises the blatant use of violence in Hollywood action films, saying that his films are intended as polemical statements against the American

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