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Updated by bonnie-ha on Mar 15, 2016
Headline for 8 times Redfern Now conveys a strong message to all of us about equality and freedom of speech.
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8 times Redfern Now conveys a strong message to all of us about equality and freedom of speech.

Episode 4, ’Stand up’, teaches any individual should never be afraid to stand up for what they believe in and to speak your mind.

1

Be still and know who you are

Be still and know who you are

Joel won an Indigenous scholarship to Clifton Grammar, one of the best schools in Sydney. This scene shows his first day at school and an assembly with the whole school. He looked confused and lost because he didn't know how to sing the national anthem. A high angle wide shot is used, which shows the school students in unity and everyone seem to have the same beliefs. The school sets strict rules that represent the school and they expected every single student to follow the rules. However, when the camera captured the whole school, we can see the camera zooming in on the struggling and confused Joel. This close up gives us an idea of the main character’s difference (emphasised by the expression on his face).

2

Our sense of belonging is shaped by our surroundings.

Our sense of belonging is shaped by our surroundings.

In this scene, Joel was kept after the assembly because the principal, Mrs McCann, wants to know why Joel didn't sing the national anthem. She has Mr Parrish ask, “do you know what the national anthem is?” and “why don’t you sing the national anthem?”- These aren’t questions for Joel, because he doesn't feel connected and belong to the song.

3

Stand your own ground and trust yourself. Move on with life and forget the past.

Stand your own ground and trust yourself. Move on with life and forget the past.

If a nail, nailed to a piece of wood, when removed, leaves a mark, the hole is still there. The same applies to humans. If we hurt someone, or do someone wrong, giving an apology doesn’t heal the pain. Eddie, Joel’s dad, feels anger, hostility, bitterness and resentment at how his family has been treated in the past, so he instilled his strong beliefs and values upon Joel. Rachel Perkins, the director of the movie, pointed out Joel’s dad strongly believed that "we are Aboriginal, we shouldn't have to sing the Australian anthem.” She also had him say “I don't care who want you to sing it, you don't sing it ok?.” Joel felt pressured by his dad and didn't want to let his dad down (indicated by a close up of his face which looks darker and his eyes looks sad and deep). Holding on to the unchangeable past is a waste of energy, and serves no purpose. Move on with life and don’t let the past determine your future. Forcing your son to have the same belief as you is the same abuse of power as the school; Joel will have his own perspective on the anthem.

4

'Empathy is seeing with the eyes of another, listening with the ears of another and feeling with the heart of another’.

'Empathy is seeing with the eyes of another, listening with the ears of another and feeling with the heart of another’.

Sometimes you have to try to be understanding and show some empathy. This close up eye level shot showed the principal conversing with Joel’s family and failing to do just that. She is making Joel feel guilty, and threatened him by blackmailing him in relation to his scholarship (as indicated by explain her features that show she is being cold, demanding and arrogant). One of Mrs McCann’s responsibilities is to make students feel comfortable, safe and protected. Instead of being understanding and trying to work things out, the principal keeps her own perspective, makes her own decisions, and forgets to put herself in others’ shoes. This scene then is a powerful reminder that we should step into other’s shoes before making assumptions, and be respectful of other’s beliefs, religions, morals and values.

5

‘Stay true to yourself. Never be ashamed of doing what feels right’

‘Stay true to yourself. Never be ashamed of doing what feels right’

Nic and Eddie initially had a conflict of morals, beliefs and values (as indicated in the angry voice and explain during the conversation). Nic wanted Joel to be more flexible and adaptable to the school’s morals, beliefs and values but dad stood his ground. Joel is stuck in the middle because he doesn’t want to let mum or dad down and he’s also confused by his own feelings too (as indicated by Joel's sad-confused and looking down face). So, sometimes we have to swallow our pride to make life easier, which means we may upset someone in the process.

6

Consider others first, treat them as you would like to be treated.

Consider others first, treat them as you would like to be treated.

In this scene, Nic is said, angry and disappointed after the meeting with the school (as indicated by the slow-quiet music with her high-angry voice). She has high expectations of Joel and wanted him to participate and remain at the school but the situation doesn't turn out like she expected. During the conversation, she saw that the principal did not considered and talk to Joel directly. She wanted the student to obey and adhere to the school rules that is to sing the school anthem. The principal behaves in an unprofessional manner, and could have dealt with this situation differently. Ralph Marson says, “Let go of your attachment to being right, and suddenly your mind is more open. You’re able to benefit from the unique viewpoints of others, without being crippled by your own judgment”. Even though the principle is not ‘evil’, but she is too harsh and needs to heed Marson’s words. She should be more flexible and considerate.

7

Show some pride! Stand up for yourself! Walk tall!

Show some pride! Stand up for yourself! Walk tall!

After the meeting with the principal, Joel keeps coming to school even though he is expelled. Glen Rambharack’s famous quotes to “not be a doormat! Be proud of who you are! Stick out your chest and hold your head high," is one to remember here. When Joel is escorted from the school by Mrs McCann, he confidently walked in front of the principle; his face is full of reliability and he sticks by his decision (as indicated by a close up of a stern faced Joel). He is also very happy to refuse to sing the national anthem, as indicated by the high tone music.

8

Take responsibility for the situation and solution. Be acceptance and make it a happy ending.

Take responsibility for the situation and solution. Be acceptance and make it a happy ending.

Knowing yourself is one thing, but truly believing and living as yourself is another. Don't do the things that you don't feel comfortable with, and don't make the easy choice because you’re afraid of what might happen. You can’t expect to change people, however, don’t be afraid and don’t let people step on your dignity and treat you with a lack of respect. In this scene, the parent united front allows Joel not to sing the national anthem. As a family, they stood as one against the principal. The family experienced rejection many times but never gave up. Moreover, a group of students come together to support Joel in returning to school. Once again the principal uses blackmail and guilt to have the students on her side, but the students stay strong and Joel was allow to return to school, showing power can be found in numbers.