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The Bittersweet Journey


March 20, 2022 by shoenerca

The added music, “The Last Day of November” by Philip Ravenel, sounds bittersweet. It is slow and restrained, yet the melody in the upper woodwinds conveys a sense of hope. This corresponds with the emotions portrayed in the clip. In this clip from The Silent Revolution, the students, who have been expelled from school and forbidden from receiving a diploma in East Germany, decide to travel to the West to finish school. This means leaving their families and their former lives behind. They are hopeful for their new lives but saddened to say goodbye to their families, as Theo does at the beginning of the clip. The added music conveys the same conflicting emotions that the students feel in this scene.

When Theo and Paul enter the train, the camera is roughly at their eye level. The camera scans the faces of the train passengers and pauses on the faces of their classmates. The point of view shot allows us to see things from the perspective of Theo and Paul and feel what they are feeling. The pauses emphasize the excitement and comfort that they feel seeing their classmates’ faces on their journey away from home. When Theo and Paul sit down the camera lowers to be at their eye level and again focuses on various classmates on the train. Finally, Paul playfully hits Theo with his cap and Theo smiles. From this, we know that those of the class who chose to flee East Germany will safely make it to the West without being stopped by the officials and will be free to finish school with one another at last. In short, their persecution has ended.


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