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Shine - David Helfgott

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Shine, an award winning film directed by Scott Hicks, depicts the life of musical genius David Helfgott and the challenges and suffering he overcame in his life. Through a variety of film techniques Hicks is able to capture certain aspects of the human condition such as that of isolation, deprivation of freedom and one's longing to be loved and cared about. Shine is also highly inspirational, illustrating a person's ability to move forward in life despite facing the debilitating effects of psychological trauma. Drawing upon several allusions and visual and plot devices, Hicks is able to accurately depict the life of David Helfgott and outstanding aspects of the human condition within it.

Throughout Shine, Hicks employs powerful film techniques to emphasise the facets of human condition apparent in David Helfgott's life; the most notable being the use of flashbacks to meticulously steer and craft the plotline to explore the mysteries of David's past. The flashbacks convey the painful nature of David's memories and link strongly to the opening scenes which portray the extent to which David has been affected mentally. Lighting effects are cleverly utilized by Hicks to shroud David's figure in darkness such that he stands in stark contrast with the brightly lit restaurant within. This visual effect heightens the human condition of isolation from society being experienced by David. Symbolism also plays a strong role in Shine as is evident in the noticeable crack running down the photograph of David; foreshadowing the downfall of David's character.

Scott Hicks' deliberate choice of costume and set colour in Shine are highly effective in highlighting the dull suppressed existence David endures under the dominating patriarchy of his father Peter Helfgott. Allusions to Nazi concentration camps are drawn with unnerving images of barbed wire and extensive barricading in the Helfgott residence, further emphasizing the deprivation of freedom faced by David and other members of the family. The overbearing and suffocating love Peter gives his son appears to be more detrimental then beneficial towards David's growth and development. Peter Helfgott's domineering patriarchal nature is further accentuated in the repetition of the lines "No one will love you like one" and "You are a very lucky boy, David" which confirm the complete dominance and control



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