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One of the movies that made it onto the National Film Board was the work of art already mentioned (NFB). This is due to the fact that the Don Owen film ended up being a crucial turning point in the development of the Canadian narrative filmmaking department. The plot of the film revolves around a disobedient kid who just so happens to be captured on camera in a documentary-style setting amid claims of a tight budget. The top 10 Canadian films of all time were shown at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), according to a poll (Allan 116). The movie was produced at a time when most of them were critiqued for the things they did not have or the aspects they did not consider in the initial stages of developing the story in the Canadian state. The negative culture and commentary never took directors by surprise as they got used to it with time. The movie reviewers made it their culture to do their task in a way that was not any more gentle which made producers and directors to pay keen attention to the storyline behind their movies and the general outcome they would expect from them. On the same note, one of the critics; William Marantz made a review of the Canadian feature that was for a low budget in Nobody Waved Good-bye and suggested an improvisation (Gonick).
The original shooting was slated to be a short documentary which was to feature the manner and the struggles that parole officers encounter in their course of dealing with juvenile delinquents. However, when the director; Don Owen was given a budget of $35,000, he sought permission to include some re-enactments in the shooting with the actors which he was granted (Rubbo’s 322). As the process was ongoing, the scenes tentatively managed to make more of a turn-about into a narration rather than the much anticipated minute documentary. Luckily for Owen, the NFB management approved his budgetary improvement of $75,000 which gave him the go-ahead to improve on some of the features that he had initially restricted in his shooting process (Rubbo’s 322). The budgetary increase or rather change was approved owing to the prior suggestion that William Marantz put forward regarding the low-budget for which the movie was slated. Also, it meant that he would have to re-do some of the scenes and shooting sessions to achieve the much-desired tone and quality.
Generation Gap & Conflict
The movie depicts a significant generation drift that makes it appear as though there is a gap between generations which is the actual case in this particular scenario. The gap is between the generation of the parents and that of their children. The emphasis in the film is seen to be on Peter and his parents, how he relates and talks about them when he is out with his friends, particularly his girlfriend, Julie Biggs. Peter is unhappy with his parents which is not the same case with Julie. The latter seems to be in a conducive relationship with her parents, and there are no major incidences of an argument between Julie and her parents. However, Peter on the hand seems to be against the things that his parents believe and stand for as he feels they are materialistic to a dead end (Nayman 62). He does not share the perception they have about materialistic values which is an apparent indication of the generational gap that exists in the family.
In most cases, the point where a generational gap appears, the parties involved would continuously argue about their beliefs and the values they stand for in their lives. This is because, in both instances, they are trying to prove that they are better and this only suffices to spur even more misunderstandings. The latter may be because of the differences they share or the fact that they find it hard to agree on almost every aspect of their lives. This is a replica of the scenario in Peter’s case; he is in constant and endless arguments with his parents. He belittles his parents as he does not feel that they are doing their best to keep the family and support him in the manner that they are supposedly meant to do (Nayman 62).
Since the conflict in Peter’s family in one that involves close characters in terms of their relation, it qualifies to be an external conflict. The latter starts as simple misunderstandings which then escalate to arguments which finally translates to conflicts. In the end, Peter moved out of his parent’s house and decided to rent a space of his own in a small apartment. This simply gives the implication that the arguments had escalated to conflicts that both parties could not solve or at least one of the parties felt in this manner.
As it is the belief of most parents, they have to stay with their kids until they feel they are mature enough to rent spaces of their own and live by themselves of course from a source of income that is reliable. This is not a view that Peter shares but his parents do as they enraged that he decided to move out of the house yet they were providing him with the necessities that he would find hard to have when he is out there on his own. This is an apparent form of a generational gap (Nayman 62). His parents seem to be on the positive end as he ends up doing odd jobs to cater for the utility bills and provide the basic needs. When Julie decides to step out of his parents' house to settle with him, he seeks the assistance of his parents, but the father turns down his plea for a loan as he is embittered and angry at him. This is the cause of yet another conflict between them.
Peter's parents know the importance that lies in going to college, and it is the reason they try to encourage him to attend college after his graduation, but he is constantly against it. Julie who is of the same generation as Peter shares in his decry for more personal freedom as she feels Peter's parents are too hard on him to attend college against his will which should not be the case. It depicts the manner in which the generation to which Peter’s parents belong to, shares different ideological beliefs as far as personal freedom and education are concerned. Also, it portrays an incident in which both internal and external conflict occurs. Internal conflict takes place in the sense that Julie is against Peter always arguing with his parents, but he supports the fact that he deserves a bit of personal freedom. The generational gap is evident in the play, and it plays a pivotal role in developing the conflict in the movie and drives it to a climactic point.
Cultural Gap & Conflict
The culture that is propagated in a society is pegged on the generation that the individuals belong. The culture that Peter’s parents are striving to promote is that of discipline and education. In the case where Peter's father refuses a plea from Peter for a loan that would be of great assistance to both him and his girlfriend because he was mad, it shows that his generation does not take indiscipline lightly (Nayman 62). It is quite contrary to the way the generation to which Peter belongs to does because if it were otherwise, he would not have made the request to his father which is an instant of a cultural gap.
Peter’s parents insist that he goes back home after he argued with them and decided to leave their apartment and finds one of his. This is because they were against the fact that he wanted to stay on his own yet they believed he was still of a tender age to start a life away from them (Nayman 62). On the contrary, Peter does not see any problem with having to live away from them and is the reason he turns down their request and refuses to go back. This is the cause of yet another conflict between him and his parents which serves to create a cultural gap in the film. The variation in the views that Peter has with his parents is the basis of this conflict.
As Peter is a Canadian, it is anticipated that he would just be as other characters in the play yet he proves to be quite different from any of them. He does what he feels is right for him and does not care about the criticism of those around him. Julie feels that at some point, Peter’s parents are right in their own way and tries to encourage him to understand their reasons but he does not even give it a thought. This is an apparent indication that he was only inclined to do what he wanted and not the will of those who surround him. Also, he strives to be different in order to prove his parents wrong and live the life he desires and not the one they want to impose on him (Rubbo’s 322).
Another issue that is noteworthy is the fact that the role Peter is meant to play is that of juvenile delinquency and it may be a contributory reason as to why he is different in so many aspects from other casts. He stills a getaway car from a parking lot which he intended to use to travel with his girlfriend, Julie. At this point, he does not care about the implications of his action, but since Julie does, she decides to leave him and head back home. In order for Peter to have played the delinquency role in a smart way, it is a prerequisite for him to be different in his own way.
Allan, Blaine. "TOP-TEN FILM HISTORY." Revue Canadienne d'études cinématographiques/Canadian Journal of Film Studies (2014): 115-129.
Gonick, Cy. Canada Since 1960: A People's History: a Left Perspective on 50 Years of Politics, Economics and Culture. , 2016. Print.
Nayman, Adam. "UNHOLY FOOLS AND BEAUTIFUL LOSERS." Film Comment 53.3 (2017): 62.
Rubbo’s, Michael. "The Documentary of Displaced Persona." Documenting the Documentary: Close Readings of Documentary Film and Video (2013): 322.
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