I think the scene in “Go Back to Where You Came From” that can best fit most of the words from the discovery rubric is the raid scene. The raid scene is so flexible that both the participants and the viewers can discover new things. For instance, Roderick, one of the participants, was so shocked by what he discovered from the raid that he just kind of disappeared. The absence of Roderick can mean many things to the viewers, like the possibility that he was overwhelmed by the emotional discovery of all the refugees crying as they were being taken away. This discovery can be confronting to him and his beliefs about refugees, it can also be sudden and unexpected for Roderick. In addition, during the raid, Raye said that the refugees there “could easily be the Chins” and after that the narrator explained that the refugees could face “jail time, corporal punishment and deportation.” This juxtaposition is intended for the viewers to feel the emotional connection with the Chins before the raid and imagine if the Chins were being punished, after all they have been through. This makes the discovery very much emotional to both the participants and the audience. It can also challenge the beliefs of the audience who think raids are for the best since the scene shows the real things that happen during the raid.
How does context influence discovery?
Context indeed does shape a person’s beliefs and assumptions. Thus, they will discover different things if they have different backgrounds. For instance, in the television show “Go Back to Where You Came From,” Adam had a strong dislike towards refugees. This may be because his father also had strong views on refugees that Adam is exposed to all the negative things about refugees. Therefore, after going on a refugee trip, Adam’s views were changed. He did not see refugees as criminals but more as people. Adam’s discovery became greatly transformative due to his personal context.
What does discovery mean for me and my life?
For me, most discoveries are extremely confronting and provocative as they make me think about problems that I may not even consider worth my time before. “Go Back to Where You Came From” lets us dig deeper on the complex refugee issue. An example is when I found out the refugees are not safe even when they are in the UN camp. It was there where Masara lost her baby and it was there where her family’s food supply was snatched by locals. Before this, I never thought that the refugees would experience huge problems when they are protected by the UN. However, after that emotional discovery, I won’t look at my life the same way again. Those refugees have it worse and it provoked me to do some action to help those refugees. This discovery made me realize that they are in need of more help and I could devote some time to do something for those refugees.
How do composers invite responders to experience discovery through text?
Composers can invite responders to experience discovery through text in a variety of ways. They can use the most fitting film techniques or the most dramatic word choice. This will evoke responders to feel more deeply what the participants in the television show discovers. An example would be the editing of some scenes involving Raquel. When she first said that she was a bit racist, that part was cut and was constantly used throughout the four episodes. Even though after Raquel showed some change, the composer edited some of those scenes out in order to make the responders feel the jarring discovery that Raquel made. After her refugee experience, Raquel unexpectedly discovered how nice the refugees are. Since the scenes before were about Raquel being a racist, the discovery was very unexpected to the responders. By doing editing like this, the composer was able to invite the responders into the refugee experience and make them perceive what the participants discover with a new set of eyes.
A significant discovery made through the film “Go Back to Where You Come From” is the power of experience that can really change a person. This can be seen from most participants in the film, including Adam. Adam once thought that the refugees are criminals and that his money is wasted on them. However, after truly living the life of a refugee and getting emotionally attached to them, his belief was challenged. He changed his views after those few weeks and he now feels empathy towards those refugees with much bigger problems than him. Other than this, even another participant named Raquel that symbolises racism changed her strong belief only after living as a refugee in Kakuma. After the UN camp and staying with Basuri, the African father, she found that not all “black people” are that bad. She even said herself that people should not judge a book by its cover as she judged people by their skin color. This proves that experience has the power to challenge the beliefs of the participants and even to change them. The discovery proves that the participants’ and other people’s beliefs could be changed by experience. Thus, the right experience is indeed a powerful device that can change people’s mind.
The director clearly tries to evoke a feeling of empathy in the viewers towards the refugees. Using different film techniques, the director can try to take the audience inside the life of a refugee. Narration is one of the film techniques used. The director did not just use any random narration, instead he used something called the voice of God. The voice of God is a very deep and authoritative male voice which can easily lead the audience to feel that what he is saying is true. For instance, when the narrator uses very subjective and emotional language such as the words “torturous,” “war,” and “death,” the audience feels it much more than if the narrator were a little girl. The audience could easily feel that these emotions are factual and true without questioning it because the voice sounds very knowledgable.
Other than the narration, the director also uses visual elements to bring up more emotion in the audience. Sometimes, when it is needed, a wide shot is used to show the background of where the participants are at. This can be the barren and dry land in Kenya where the refugees camp in or the small house in Malaysia that houses a lot of people. The purpose of doing this is to help the audience imagine what it is like being in a place like that as the refugees. In addition, there are also some visual elements where things needed in daily life are way beyond unhygienic. An example is the toilet that is just a hole in the dirty ground. By looking at this, the viewers can easily feel disgusted but at the same time they can feel pity for the refugees that have to live like that. Close ups of the refugees, participants or even social workers can also provoke emotion in the audience as seeing the people up close can show their emotions better.
Sound and music are also used to fulfil the director’s purpose. Sometimes, the absence of music can help the audience focus on what is going on like the time when the participants ate their first meal in Kakuma. However, other times intensified music is needed to build up tension in the audience so they are anxious or even excited. As the participants live as refugees, they often face dangers and this is usually when the music build up to make the audience feel like they are somehow in danger too. The danger evokes a feeling of empathy in the audience. Nevertheless, other times there are background sounds that are more emphasized on. For instance, when Raquel was crying about living in Kakuma, the director specifically put the sound of her sniffling and crying in the background instead of music so the audience would feel sad for her and the refugees too.
Lastly, the director edits each episode of the series so the audience would get a taste of what it feels like to be refugees. He uses photo montages and video montages mostly to show this. For instance, there are video montages of Raquel being in the middle of Africans and then it switches to the Africans fighting when the participants go deeper into their refugee experience. This montage shows the audience how uncomfortable the participants feel and how dangerous it really is in their home countries. There are also video montages of the participants going to dangerous countries and what they experience there. For example, Roderick was in that police car and there was a helicopter fleeing and this shows the audience how hectic and treacherous some countries are. All of these film techniques are specifically chosen by the director to shape the audience’s experience about refugees.
A television series titled “Go Back to Where You Came From” is a reality-show about six Australians who try to live the lives of refugees. After a brief introduction of the film, the overall reaction of the audience is a feeling of intense danger. The director of the film conveyed the powerful feeling using the film’s music. At first, the music was some sort of a traditional music playing. However, the music got more dramatic and suspenseful with the addition of drums. This makes the audience curious about what danger is coming next for the people in the reality show. The audience can also walk in the six Australian’s shoes from the several video montages of the dangerous refugee situations they had to go through. Some of the scenes are about war, destruction, and even country borders that are a mess. From there, the audience can feel the true danger the refugees go through to get asylum. The introduction even conveys to the audience the feeling of uncertainty and doubt that refugees feel almost everyday. Finally, the various close up camera angles give the feel of what the people are actually feeling. Using close up angles, the people’s facial expression can clearly be seen, especially their terror when they go through the lives of the refugees. The last few scenes of the introductory show a few close ups of people who are petrified of what saw or what they did as refugees. This makes the audience be able to picture just how much danger and terror that refugees face. “Go Back to Where You Came From” indeed conveys the message of how much danger and suspense a refugee undergoes.