Monday 19th October English course work Ross Kemp in Afghanistan and 9/11 documentaries By Sophia Howkins Introduction:- In this essay I am going to compare both documentaries about Ross Kemp in Afghanistan and the 911 crash. Both of these documentaries are related as they both started because of the same reason. They are based on the real drama on the attack and life in the army. The war began on October 7, 2001; the aim of invasion was to find Osama Bin Laden. British and the U. S military launched in response to the 11 attacks in September, The 911 happened on Tuesday 11th September 2001 in the morning in the United States.
Genre:- The first ever documentary was made in France 1895, there was no sound or colour it was just a moving image there was no editing used just a long take of a film. The word documentary comes from the word evidence and realistic approach means long takes filming life in true form and formative approach means editing montage (more aesthetically pleasing). Documentaries now are more formative approach not a realistic approach because they have more equipment to edit the documentary. Mock documentaries have caused scepticism in an audience so when it comes to true documentaries the audience don’t believe them.
But most documentaries are based on true stories e. g. filming wildlife. Documentaries are thought to be educational and boring to some people. Ross Kemps documentary in Afghanistan is a typical documentary because of the subject war/political this documentary uses both formative approach and realistic because it has some editing in. And it is a moderated documentary; this documentary has informal interviews, the location of the shooting on a held hand cam, synchronous sound recording and voice over the filming. Context:-
The film called Ross Kemp in Afghanistan is based on the war happening today, it is over the 9/11 attack on the twin towers. It has carried on over all these years and it started in 2001 and is still ongoing. The British army’s aim for the attack was to find Laden. The documentary Ross Kemp in an Afghanistan was Directed by John Conroy and Anuar Arroyo (2nd series) Produced by Matt Bennett. The two series involved Kemp and a small embedded film crew following troops fighting in Helmand Province, documenting their part in the ongoing Herrick.
In the first series Kemp and his crew participate in the Vikings initial training in Britain for the deployment. They then visit the unit during their six month tour, filming both lives at rest and on fighting patrols in Helmand. The series finally covers their return to the UK. In the follow up series Kemp returns to Afghanistan to assess how the conflict has changed since his first visit in 2007. During the filming of the first series, in one engagement the crew were pinned down by fire from the Taliban, with Kemp nearly dying with bullets passing within inches.
In filming the second series, Kemp runs into a possible minefield. The show was praised for the closeness and realism of the battle footage, and is believed to be the first documentary of its kind filmed in. Audience:- The audience of this documentary is young lads who are deciding to join the army or who are already in it. The age audience is 16 to late 30’s. Audience has changed over the years because documentaries use more popular subjects which are attractions a younger audience. Typical audience over the years are mainly people who enjoy watching documentaries.
Documentaries either educate or a hobby. Viewers may have a hobby and like to watch documentaries what interest them or schools use them for educational reasons. Narrative:- Ross Kemp in Afghanistan is about Ross Kemp the journalist and narrator doing a documentary on the war in Afghanistan. The documentary is about the soldiers lives in the war, how they miss their families and friends, the impact on the soldier’s families, the soldiers mental/physical health and how they work out and train and finally how the Afghanistan civilians feel about living in a war zone!
This documentary is trying to show us that army life is not that good. When you watch the documentary it shows how lucky we are to have stuff which they don’t have or aren’t very good e. g. a shower and bed. It also shows that being in the army is quite scary because you don’t know if you’re going to live through the day or if you’re not going to see your family again. This documentary is being told by Ross Kemp and his filming crew, the crew films it life and Ross Kemp is the narrator. The British Army and the Taliban are involved in the war.
I think this documentary is unique because it is actually educating us and showing us what it is really like in the war and it should teach people not to take advantage of what they have got. Representation:- There are many different groups represented in the text the first being the British Army. The British Army in this documentary are being represented as strong and willing to fight for our country. It’s no all fun and happiness. The soldiers are hit emotionally because of what is happening around them. At the beginning they felt scared, act childish. By being in the army they change the way they act and think.
The soldiers can’t wait to put all there training into action in the war zone. In this documentary the army are fighting for their country and the civilians of Afghanistan. When there on patrol they are grown-up and professional but in the documentary after their time on patrol when Ross Kemp interviewed them they were thinking of leaving the army because now they know it isn’t all fun being in the army. Their families have to keep strong for their soldiers. In the documentary there families were described to be nervous and anxious and loyal they don’t leave them they stick by their soldiers.
The documentary had a mother interviewed about her 19 year old son who died on patrol she was strong, devastated and distraught but she gave Ross Kemp a video of how her son died to go in the documentary. The civilians in Afghanistan were prepared to negotiate with the British Army but they never gave to much information because they were scared some think will happen to them. The cautions for the civilians are that they are in a middle of a battle zone. The Taliban’s were described as very tactical, strong well a d trained. Media Language:- Camera shots/lighting:-
I am going to talk about a range of camera shots. Firstly in shot 1 the section uses both formative approach and realistic approach. It was a bird’s eye view shot and it showed that the land was deserted nothing was to be seen. The main focus more or less was central it showed how powerful a machine gun really is. The powerful feeling is emphasised because the weapon is closest to the camera. Secondly, shot 3 was a close up of Ross Kemp on the ground lying down. This shot made you feel claustrophobic and it gives you the Idea of the closeness of the soldiers and how they rely on each other a lot.
Unlike shot 1 this shot does not use deep focus as Ross Kemp is to remain the central focus of this camera shot. We are faced with montage of shots of weapons, action shots, training and frontline Shot 4 was a medium long-shot. Ross Kemp and the soldiers was on the helicopter and the door was down the light was shining through and Ross Kemp walked out. The light was bright and it represented heaven or walking through the tunnel of death or as some people will say walking into the unknown because they don’t know what is going to happen once they step outside the helicopter.
The connotations are to this shot is that it’s like death because they use the helicopter to take bodies back to England. In shot 7, it the mis en scene is contradictory uses an extreme close-up of a barbed wire this could have represented danger/keep-out or it was like representing prison for the Afghanistan civilians or maybe it could be protecting them from danger. The barbed wire is dark and gloomy but there was a beautiful sunset behind the barbed wire. The lighting uses juxtaposition between the darkness/ danger of barbed wire and natural beauty of the sunlight.
Costumes/Props/Sounds The costumes for this documentary where mainly army uniform which is mainly good because it camouflages the soldiers because the colours are beiges and browns and creams because of the desert colours. They will be recognised by their blood type which is sewed on to there arm of the uniform mainly because if they get killed they can be recognised There are lots of weapons in this documentary and whenever they’re in shot there in centre to look more powerful the weapons become the uniform.
The documentary uses synchronous sound (Recording, happening with action) volume sounds increased to be more powerful and that your there and fear the feelings of the soldiers. The shouting of the soldiers emphasises the chaos. Context:- The 9/11 documentary was based on the attack on the twin towers. The 9/11 attack were a series of coordinated suicide attacks by al-Qaeda upon the United States on September 11, 2001. The location’s of the attacks were New York city Arlington County, Virginia and near Shanks Ville, Pennsylvania.
The types of attack were Aircraft hijacking, Mass murder and Suicide attack. It killed 2,976 victims and 19 hijackers and injured 6,000. Both buildings collapsed within two hours, destroying nearby buildings and damaging others. The hijackers crashed a third airliner into the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia, just outside Washington, D. C. The fourth plane crashed into a field near Shanks Ville in rural Pennsylvania, after some of its passengers and flight crew attempted to retake control of the plane, which the hijackers had redirected toward Washington, D. C.
There were no survivors from any of the flights. Audience:- The audience for this documentary is a little bit different to the audience from Ross Kemp in Afghanistan, mainly because this documentary is more aimed at firemen or young people wanting to join the services but the Ross Kemp is for soldiers. Narrative:- 9/11 was originally based on a probe fire fighter called Tony. The documentary was meant to be about a boy becoming a man from his job at an early stage into it. The directors for this documentary were two brothers called Jules Naudet and Geodeon Naudet.
They didn’t mean to record the 9/11 attack. It was an accident. The plane was that low it caught everyone’s attention, including the two brothers filming. Planes are never seen around the area of the twin towers. This documentary has real live footage from the horrific terrorist attack. There is emotional footage and interviews with fire fighters who showed their feelings about the attack. A number of them said ‘they would have to learn to love the job again’ because of what they all had to go through, digging to find either dead people or survives.
Everybody lost someone or someone’s close to them because of the attack 9/11 but even though the firemen thoughts were about the safety of their family, they were still determined to save other civilians with the help of the support of the public. Most of the fire fighters had flashbacks of what happened that very day. In the documentary, throughout the attack on the twin towers news broadcasts were shown on the news, either from the location or pictures from the viewers. They were edited to fit the documentary to show different sides of the attack.
The 9/11 and Ross Kemp in Afghanistan have some similarities. They both used hand held cameras to shoot the action happening around them. In the Ross Kemp documentary they had a helmet camera too. Also they both shoot on the location which the documentaries are about. Both firemen and soldiers while being interviewed questioned their jobs after and while the attack were happening. On the other hand both documentaries have some differences, while the firemen and soldiers were being interviewed they both had different approaches. The 9/11 used formal interviews.
They interviewed the eye witness after the attack but in Ross Kemps documentary the interviews were informal they recorded on the location while the attack was happening. Both of the documentaries have different cultures for example the two French narrators expressed their emotions by hugging and kissing each others heads but the American firemen just hugged each other and shacked each others hands. They showed their emotions differently. Representation:- There are many different groups represented in the 9/11 documentary. The first being New York firemen from ladder 1.
At the beginning they were relaxed and joked around with Tony teasing him. On the job they was represented as serious, brave and professional firemen, while the attacks were happening they seemed shocked, distraught and selfless fore example one firemen leaned over one of the film-makers to keep him safe and he didn’t care about him self. He risked his own life to protect another civilian. All of the firemen were very emotional and had open feelings after the attack. Secondly the civilians who were represented as disbelief and shocked, people idn’t have a clue what was going on, Felt helpless that they couldn’t do nothing, They also felt concern for others around or in the buildings but for them self’s too. Thirdly the film-makers, they shared the same emotions as the civilians such as scared, helpless and they also panicked but they were brave and for the others they put on a straight face. Also they was respectful because there were two people on fire and they never filmed it but they said’ to my left there are two people on fire it doesn’t feel right to film it’.
They were professional because they focused on filming and let the film-maker take over. The filming was by two brothers which had different culture to the American. Their emotions are more open than the American’s. They were loyal, loving and caring towards each other. The Ross Kemp in Afghanistan and the 9/11 have a few similarities. They both risked there life’s and are seen as hero’s or angles but also they joke around but remain professional when it counts. The documentaries were both filmed on the location and they both risked their lives to get real footage of the war and attacks.
Also the both documentaries have some differences. The firemen are there to save life’s and put out fires but the soldiers are there to kill there targets and protect the civilians of the country there fighting. The firemen are more emotional than the soldiers because if someone died in the army in the war zone they have to leave the dead soldier and carry on with the job but the firemen will carry them or take them to safety. The 9/11 attack was unexpected but the Ross- Kemp was planned. Media Language:- Camera Shots:-
Camera shot one is a pan shot of the people in the street around the twin towers. This shot shows how the attack effected everyone even tourists. Also it showed all the different life styles from business men to mothers. This shot allows the audience to see the twin towers and how it affected everyone there. This camera shot is a worm eye view shot. This shot shows how large the twin towers and buildings around are but at this point none of the towers had been touched yet. This shot gives us an impression that the twin towers are powerful and the status is looking up at them.
Camera shot three, is a close up of the firemen. The reason for this shot is to show the emotions of the firemen, which were shocked and anxious. Also to show their expressions, this shot could represent the firemen asking god for help or they were looking up to heaven, also it could suggest death! This camera shot is of the American flag. It is a median low angle shot. This shot of the flag could represent power, pride for the country or maybe it’s a symbol. When the flag was shown it was meant to show joy and pride but after the attack the joy died.
Tony the probe had to raise the flag everyday and pull it down every night to show respect, that they still think about there friend who died in a fire trying to save someone. After the attack on the twin towers Tony had to pull down the flag to show joy that none of his brothers died from the firehouse but he didn’t want to raise or pull it down again because of all the death that happened that day. Camera shot five is of both twin towers but one has already had the plane crash into it. This shot is a median long shot it also has some mis en scene in it, there’s smoke paper and mist in this shot.
The paper is flying around in the air coming down to the ground and settling also the smoke shows confusion because people couldn’t see where they were going but there was daylight through the top of the sky before and after the attack. There was blue sky one side and the other side dear focus onto one tower at this moment the other tower wasn’t touched at this stage. The paper and ashes could show and look like bodies burnet. The paper could also indicate to being confetti but confetti is to celebrate and it represents happiness but in this documentary it’s about death. Camera shot 6 is a long shot of after the attack.
All of the people who were in the attack looked the same because of the ash, this could suggest that everyone is the same underneath but also it could show that all of the civilians have experienced the same thing. While the ash was falling down to the ground it looked like snow this is ironic because snow is associated with Christmas which Is a time of good will and cheer. Costumes/ Props:- Again the 9/11 only had one costume. Which was the firemen’s uniform, wearing this uniform it gave the firemen sense of pride and a sense of unity and togetherness, because in the 9/11 documentary the firemen talked about being brothers.
The uniform also was protective in case of an emergency. It also gave them power wearing the uniform, the people of New York and from all over looked up to the fire-fighters for all there hard-work and effort. If the firemen got lost or hurt they wear badges with there fire stations and ladder they work at so people can recognize the fire-fighters, this is similar to the soldiers from Ross- Kemp documentary and the way they have the regiment and battalion they belong to, on their uniform. Compare to the soldiers the way that their uniform gives them a sense of pride and unity.
The civilian’s clothes reflected that there were people from all over the world from different cultures and countries. This emphasises how it had an impact on everyone not just New-York civilians. The clothes of the civilians mirrored the destruction of the twin-towers as clothing got torn and tatty further on in the documentary. There were some props. Mainly there was paper floating in the sky from the building also there was business men with brief-cases and woman with shopping bags and pushchairs plus cameras and phones from all of the civilians.