The Island of Flowers
The documentary film The Island of Flowers exposes contradictions in the human world. For example, the title of this film is the main contradiction, because the island contains a lot of garbage, and only some flowers.
Further, this documentary film employs some unique and original techniques.
The first one is the way the narrator tells the story. He precisely explains each concept or action using vocabulary definitions. There is no word or shade of meaning that can be misunderstood after viewing. This type of presentation was used to ensure that everybody who has watched the film understood the writer’s screened message.
Second, the film director created a daisy chain of events that leads us to the final, the realization that he wanted to convey to the audience. The main idea of this documentary film was to explain how social status, the availability of money or ownership affects people’s lives. The narrator explains different concepts that were filmed using reaction shots. Reaction shots are very effective in conveying emotions in a motion picture. Such shots were used when Mrs. Anechi was exchanging perfume for money, and when women and children were taking food after pigs refused it. The shot with Mrs. Anechi demonstrates a continuous exchange of cash. Another shot about pigs is very dramatic: the garbage rejected by the pigs’ family is now human being’s food. Also, using this background technique the author created a certain tone, an atmosphere for the film.
Besides the contradicting title, there are many contradictions in the plot itself. The best example of it would be a quote from the film, “The tomato grown by Mr. Suzuki, exchange for money with the supermarket, exchange for money that Mrs. Anechi exchanged for perfume, extracted from flowers, refused for the pork sauce, thrown into the garbage, and refused by the pig as a food, is now available for human beings on the Island of Flowers”.
Third, the parallel sound is used as a type of soundtrack for this documentary film. For every new scene a new sound was used to match the action. Usually, only a few notes or chords were needed for a scene, except for the beginning and end of the film. At the beginning, the music is loud and solemn. It attracts the viewers’ attention. This documentary film ends with energetic and a little bit sad guitar solo, which enhances the effect of the film, makes the ending more dramatic.
After watching the documentary film The Island of Flowers, the viewer is under the impression for a long time. It is very simple: the shots, plot, and visual effects; but the idea is hidden between the lines. It impresses with its simplicity and depth, horror and despair.
In conclusion, the last phrase of the narrator should be taken seriously. It contains the meaning of the film: being free is the state of the one who is not controlled by obligation, or the will of another. Freedom is the state the human being longs to, including liberty from slavery, detention, or oppression.
- A daisy chain of events, which are based on the logic and generally known facts.
- Emotional soundtrack at the beginning and the end of the film, which sets the mood and enhances the impression of it.
- Each concept has its own vocabulary explanation to make sure every viewer understands the plot of the film, its vocabulary, and main idea.
Each concept is also provided by a tracking shot that visually explains it. Using these techniques the director makes a huge impression by his documentary film The Island of Flowers.