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The Nine Lives of the Working Class


January 23, 2022 by toccof

This scene of what appears to be a cat walking down the hall of the abandoned office comes in between the scenes of the abandoned factory and a frustrated man working in the police force. This particular scene, shot from a medium-high angle, represents both a flashback and a flash-forward. The flashback aspect stems from the strike scenes earlier, in which the office workers threw their papers and other miscellaneous items in the air while running out. The cat walks among these items down the barren hallway but never steps on any. The lighting chosen for this scene draws attention to the cat but blurs the papers and other items on the ground, making the walls and doorways dark but illuminating the floor. This scene also represents a flash-forward of what is to come. After the workers are killed in the final scenes, eventually, new workers will come and take their place, and the office will be full of life once more. A cat, an animal, known to reincarnate nine times, represents how new workers will come although the present workers have died, and although the factories and offices are “dead” or empty, they will be filled again. The cat may also represent the stockholder’s regaining their “lives” or businesses despite losing hundreds of workers. The cat’s large shadow means, from this perspective, the stockholders’ power over the workplace and the workers; although they may be dead, another group of workers will come to take their place, thus bringing them back to life. This might explain why the cat never touches any of the worker’s papers or items, just as the stockholders refuse to interfere with the workers’ lives and listen to their demands. Another aspect of this scene is its conflict: a conflict of vertical and horizontal lines. The cat is walking down a long horizontal strip in a hallway, while on the walls, there are several vertical doors along this hallway. 


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