Documentary entitled Special Treatment

Essay by bobpetCollege, UndergraduateA-, May 2004

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Special Treatment is a documentary produced by Margaret Anne Smith which represents the struggle of the modern Aboriginal people in Australia. Aboriginal people are constructed as a dominated and misunderstood people. They have been separated from their original culture and traditions, this has resulted in them living in dysfunctional families and lifestyles. The documentary uses various techniques like archival footage and repetition to demonstrate that the way aboriginal people have been unfairly treated in Australia for the past two decades.

The town of Moree is one town shown to illustrate the way aboriginal people are considered lower class citizens to white Australians. This is achieved through the use of archival footage. For example the archival photo of an aboriginal classroom picturing the children arranged in the formation of a triangle with the white teacher appearing at the top of the triangle. This clearly represents the idea of white supremacy where white people hold positions of power over "black people".

The historical context has not changed much in modern Australian society. This archival footage has been used to discuss and relate to the viewer that white supremacy were present in the past and when one considers the town of Moree realizes that it is still evident today.

Throughout this documentary the viewer is presented with a montage of shots inside a jail, during this we see an aboriginal flag above the prison doors. This symbolizes that the prison is the aboriginal people's territory and implies to the viewer the high number of aboriginal people that are locked away. This implies to the viewer how the white people dominate society, by using symbolism to show that the majority of people in jail are aboriginal. The flag can also be seen as a representative of the oppressed nature of the...