The Grapes of Wrath AND Days of Heaven
This topic has three components to consider in your posts.
In The Grapes of Wrath and Days of Heaven we have two representations of the rural, agrarian way of life. One representing turn-of-the-century America, and one representing Depression-era America.
1) Do you feel the films’ portrayal of this way of life is positive or negative? Explain your response. In other words, shat is it about the narrative, the characters, their relationships (romantic, family or social) and the use of film language (camera work, lighting, setting, music) that gives you that impression? ,
2) How do you think the films’ negative or positive portrayal of the way of life might be influenced not only by the settings of the films but also the contexts in which the films were made? By ‘setting’, I’m referring to the time-periods and locations they portray (for example, The Grapes of Wrath, set in Depression-era, in the American midwest, and in Days of Heaven, set in turn-of-the-century also in the mid-west ). By ‘contexts’ I’m referring to what was going on in America (socially, politically, economically) at the time in which the films were made: for example – The Grapes of Wrath, made at the tail-end of the Great Depression on the eve of WWII, vs. Days of Heaven, made in the 1980s, during the Farm Crisis.
3) Also consider — the films’ representation of immigrants – arriving to the midwest and beyond from -‘elsewhere’ – either other, impoverished parts of America or other parts of the world (e.g. Europe) – and the ways in which they are treated by those already living there. How might that reflect on the plight of the homeless, or of refugees and immigrants in today’s context and the way they are treated?
Use examples from the films to illustrate or back up your responses — you should go back to the films for your examples.