RSS Feed

An Uncomfortable Discussion


January 31, 2022 by mcclainwa

If you’ve ever been in a crowded space you know how awkward it can be to try and make small talk with strangers. For the workers in this scene, one of the final scenes in the movie Kuhle Wampe, it is almost effortless to start a serious discussion about changing the world with members of the middle class. The tight close up shots in this montage of faces give a very personal view to all of the speakers. The intimate nature of the shots also gives an effect of being in the train car, face-to-face with the other passengers. The cuts from passenger to passenger in this scene also helps promote this dialogue showing the reactions of the middle class riders and then showing the young stern expressionless faces of the workers making their point. This point is very obvious with the cuts being accentuated by the male workers dialogue over each cut. As we do not see him physically point to his targets but we can see through his eyes as he uses each of them to help his point. Those he is addressing are not the middle class, but his fellow workers. Some of the middle class do not want to listen to this dialogue most of them wouldn’t think there was a different perspective other than their own but the speech and the film are not for the middle and upper classes, they are for fellow workers and those who desire a different world. As the last face in the film, the female worker looks into the camera and responds to the antagonistic passenger’s remark “And who will change the world?” with “Those who don’t like it”. The whole of the film promotes worker solidarity even in the struggle to find jobs and the ‘races’ they must compete in every day just to hopefully have enough luck to land a position anywhere. This scene, followed by the closing shot of the workers leaving the train as one large continuous group shows that though they are individuals they must still act as a group to promote the change they want to see in the world. An uncomfortable discussion, in an uncomfortable space, in an uncomfortable world is a very simple but effective way to grab a viewer and keep them thinking rather than have them comfortable and ignorant.



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Skip to toolbar