RSS Feed

A Tale of Two Protestors


February 13, 2022 by shoenerca


In this gif, we see one of the main characters of Ich bin ein Elefant, Madame, Rull, dancing while dressed as a Native American between a line of his protesting classmates and an opposing line of police officers. This is the scene where viewers really get to see the difference between Rull’s form of protest and that of the other students, who are led by Peter.

First, it is important to note that Rull’s form of protest, which involves dressing up as a Native American with a bow and tomahawk, includes cultural appropriation and that aspect of his protest is morally wrong. Rull’s form of protest involves doing or saying whatever he wants, often without the other students. Many things that Rull says or does in the film do not immediately make sense to modern viewers. This is why Rull’s protest is effective at questioning the system. Throughout the film, Rull is always acting outside of the social norms and thus is the only real threat among the students to the system. In this scene, Rull is the only one to get apprehended by the police because his actions are the most offensive and foreign to the system. On the other hand, Peter’s group simply forms a line, and we can see in the above high angle shot that their behavior is almost indistinguishable from that of the officers and thus fits within the established system. In the end, Rull is the only one to not take his graduation exam because the system has identified him as the only credible threat to its existence and has suspended him to escape the threat. Peter and his group happily exist within the confines of the system while Rull seems to question it from an outsider’s perspective.

To conclude, Rull has positioned himself as an outsider to the system by refusing to cooperate with the established norms, unlike the other students, and is thus the only credible threat to the current system. While Rull is literally dancing on an iron cross, a symbol associated with German nationalism and Nazi Germany, in the above scene, he is figuratively dancing on the grave of the old way of life: conventional forms of protest, authoritarianism, and nationalism.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.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

Skip to toolbar