Significant Connections (Essay)
“Survival can be summed up in three words-Never give up. That’s the heart of it really, just keep trying”-Bear grylls.
This quote tells us that no matter how high the obstacles in front of you are you can always rise above them, and it all starts with you as the individual never giving up. In the texts Rabbit Proof Fence By Phillip Noyce, Touching the void by Joe Simpson, Shooter by Antoine Fuqua and Twelve years a slave directed by Steve McQueen all of the texts show us a person or group doing whatever it takes to survive and today I will be talking to you about how all of these texts show aspects of surviving in the hardest conditions possible.
Rabbit Proof Fence
The nature of survival was shown in the film Rabbit Proof Pence directed by Phillip Noyce.In this film there were many aspects to survival.This film shows us the amazing escape and journey three girls from Jigalong made to return to their Mother after they are taken to a half cast camp miles away from their home.
The first aspect of survival is that being positive and having a happy mindset can help you persevere and overall help you survive.This is shown when Molly,Gracie and Daisy are in the Australian outback walking down the Rabbit proof fence. In this scene we can hear Gracie start to doubt what the girls are doing. She starts to say things like “Too far Molly’ but Molly doesn’t listen to her and keeps walking and says “He not gonna get us’. This shows us that Molly always stays positive and never doubts herself, and if any of the girls are questioning themselves, she quickly silences them and makes the doubt leave their mind. In this part of the film we can see a few different camera shots. In the scene where Molly and the two other girls (Gracie and Daisy) are walking down the Rabbit proof fence, we see an extremely long shot. I believe they do this so we can see just how scary and huge the environment actually is and, just how hard it would be to survive and persevere under those circumstances and conditions. From seeing these conditions and knowing how hard it would be hard to survive it emphasises how having a good attitude and a positive mindset can help you, greatly.
A second aspect of survival that was shown in this film is that having a great knowledge of your surroundings and general techniques can help your chances of survival increase.This was shown when the three girls have just left the Moore river settlement. In this scene we see the three girls walking down the river after they escaped Moore river. We see Molly making the other girls Gracie and Daisy walk on the rocks and not in the mud. This is so the tracker cannot see their tracks in the mud/grass. Also Molly makes the girls walk in the river so their tracks cannot be spotted by the tracker.This shows us that Molly has a great knowledge of how to escape the tracker and that having this ability and knowledge increases their chances of survival greatly. In these scenes when they are walking down the river most of the camera shots are long. I believe they have done this so we can see where they are and what they are doing, while getting a better understanding of just how hard it would be to survive.
Touching the void
The nature of survival was shown in the book Touching the void by Joe Simpson. In this book and film there are many aspects of survival that are shown and in this essay I will state one in particular.
The first aspect of survival that I noticed was that making decisions can help your survival in a huge way and in Joe Simpson’s case it was critical. This was shown when Joe had broken his leg and was stuck in the crevasse half way down Siula Grande. In this part of the text Joe had been lying on a slight cliff in the middle of the crevasse with his crushed leg. After lying there for at least 12 hours Joe decided to make a huge decision to lower himself to the bottom of the crevasse and find a way out. When Joe got to the bottom of the crevasse he was able to find a way out but he would have to crawl to the top of the crevasse to the surface. In this scene we see close ups, I feel they have done this so we can see Joe’s facial expressions and we can get a real sense of the danger he actually is in. Also in this scene we hear Joe say “I hope Simon doesn’t die, that’s hard…he shouldn’t have to die for me”. This shows that Joe realised that he was in a life threatening situation and that he needed to make a decision or both his life and Simons would be gone.
This aspect is very similar to the one we have talked about in Rabbit Proof Fence. In Rabbit Proof Fence the girls take a risk when they run away from Moore river. By them doing this they were able to survive the way they wanted to. This can relate to Joe’s aspect of survival when he took the risk to venture to the bottom of the crevasse which ultimately lead to his survival. Another aspect of survival that was similar to the two films was that having a great knowledge can assist your survival. In the film Rabbit Proof Fence Molly is very diligent with whatever she does which leads to her survival. In the novel Touching the void Joe Simpson has so much knowledge about the mountain that he realises that there might be a bottom of the crevasse if he goes down.
The nature of survival was shown in the film “Shooter” directed by Antoine Fuqua. This movie is based on the story of Bob Lee Swagger who is an ex-marine sniper. The first aspect of survival that was shown in this film was that having mental strength can assist your survival
In the film Shooter we can see that having mental strength can assist your survival in a great way. In this film we see the main character Bob lee swagger make his way over to Washington D.C where he is called in to help stop an assassination on an important leader from an international country. When Swagger gets there he witnesses the death of the colonel and cannot do anything about it, when he turns around he is shot at and eventually has to escape
Via a window that is 6 stories above the ground level. When Swagger gets down to the road below he is faced with challenges like healing his wound,”He has been shot he won’t go far” – Colonel Sanders, the man trying to frame Bob Lee Swagger. Also in this scene we hear the people and police shout “get him”. This shows us that people are against swagger and they are also trying to capture and kill him. In this scene we as the viewer see a lot of close ups and medium shots. I feel they have done this so we can see the pain and agony Swagger is going through and just how hard it would be to survive. I believe this scene in particular shows us just how mentally strong Bob lee swagger is, Because if this happened to any other human being they would give up, but he did not.
This aspect of survival is very similar to the one we see in touching the void. In touching the void when Joe is stuck in the crevasse he never gives up and makes a decision that ultimately saves his life. In the film ‘Shooter’ Swagger never gives up and shows great mental strength and fortitude. I believe these two films/books show comparisons because neither of the two main characters (Bob lee swagger and Joe Simpson) give up and they keep on going which leads to their survival in the finish.
12 years a slave
The nature of survival was shown in the film and book 12 years a slave by Steve McQueen. This Story follows the graphic story of Solomon Northup (Platt is his slave name) as he is wrongly sent to a slave camp and kept there imprisoned for the worst part of 12 years.
The first aspect of survival that I saw was that obeying rules and commands can help your chances of survival. This was shown when Solomon was made to do horrible things, such as whip people that he loved and go on mile long walks that he got no reward from once he completed them for the slave owner. In this scene we hear white farm supremacists say things like “Your nothing but a slave” and “Obey me”, every time someone would say this to Solomon he would never retaliate which eventually leads to his survival. Also we see in these scenes lots of extreme closeups. These extreme close ups go into Solomon’s eyes and you can get a feel of just how mad he is and how much each word and action hurts him physically and emotionally.
Another aspect of survival that we see in this movie is that having friends that you can trust helps your survival immensely. This is shown when a new Canadian worker comes onto the farm to work for money. In this scene Solomon pleads that the man goes back to Solomon’s home so they can free him. In this scene we hear Solomon say “I’m afraid to tell you” this shows us that Solomon is scared of telling the man he wants to go home because he feels the man might tell the slave owners and Solomon would get punished. Also in this scene we hear the man state that “It will not be my duty, it will be my blessing” this shows us that the man is trustworthy and he his willing to risk his life to save Solomons which ultimately saves his life.
I believe this can be related to Touching the void. In the film touching the void, Simon and Joe have a trusting relationship that leads to their survival. Because without the two of them helping each other they might not have made it off Siula Grande. This trust can also be shown in the film 12 years a slave. We see this when Solomon trusts the white man and tells him his story and when he does that the canadian white man helps him and gets Solomon free from the slave camp.
In the texts that I have wrote about it is evident that a person’s survival can be based on one wrong or right move to survive. In the texts Rabbit Proof Fence by Phillip Noyce, Touching the void by Joe Simpson, Shooter by Antoine Fuqua and 12 years a slave by Steve McQueen all the main characters have the ability to both survive and have a great knowledge of what they are doing that assists their survival. In these motion pictures and books I feel they have all shown aspects of survival and show just how hard and impossible it would be for the main characters to actually survive under the circumstances they were in.