Mississippi Masala

There was a question on the exam dealing with sound and how Mira Nair portrayed African-American and African aspects. I thought one great part in the movie where she showed some auditory connection in the movie was in the beginning credits.It was the scene where we were on a map of the world, traveling from Africa to Mississippi. When we were in the Africa region of the map, there was traditional music playing in the background; but when we began to edge closer to Mississippi, the music changed to a blues/jazz melody. It seemed that Nair was trying to make a connection between the two cultures, stating that they are not as distinct as we thought. It was as if she was showing us the “original” culture (Africa) that traveled to America and was tweaked in certain ways. However, even though it was tweaked, we can still extract similar melodies. It reminded me of a quote from one of the readings for the exam which basically stated that culture is continuous even though there can still be changes; it is the foundation that stays the same. 

Also, I wrote down a quote from the movie that Okelo said that I found striking: “Africa is for Africans, black Africans.” Even though he was trying to save his friend, Okelo was stating a fact that was believed by Idi Amin (and probably a majority of the population), especially since he did that whole let’s kick African Indians out of Africa.

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Last King of Scotland

So I was looking at my blog posts and realized I hadn’t pasted a couple from Word….really dumb. So here goes:

So I wrote this after our discussion in class about the relationship between violence and sound. We were comparing the hook scene with Dr. Garrigan with the scene where the doctor who saved him was shot in the head as well as with the dismembered remains of Kay. The hook scene was a very drawn out torture scene where we are experiencing in some way Nicholas’s pain. The fat that Garrigan does not scream at all during the scene makes the viewer cringe even more because we are experiencing the pain for him. I feel that if they had Garrigan screaming, the scene would not have been as powerful: it would have been a typical violent scene. We did not need the audio in this case: the visual was gruesome enough.

If we look at the head shot scene, there was nothing that signaled to us what was going to happen. The doctor could have easily been let go or beaten up badly. The whole aspect of the scene that made people jump out of their seats, as compared to Garrigan’s gruesome torture, was the fact that we did not know he was going to be shot. I know I definitely jumped and gasped a little, but I eventually got over it. However, Garrigan’s torture sene was hard for me to get over, and the second time we saw it in class, I could not even watch it. 

The scene where Garrigan goes to see Kay’s body: we feel different here only because the scene is bulding up to something we are not prepared for. I feel that the viewer knew something was coming, but what? We knew she was in the hospital but I don’t think we knew she was going to be brutally torn apart and displayed as an example (at least I didn’t realize it). Compared to the hook scene: one we are taken through a drawn out torture scene and the other we are taken through a drawn-out pre-torture scene, making it more gruesome.