Functionalist and Feminist analysis to the film ‘If…’ - Sample Essay
Travis and his friends see women as sexual object that also shows their lack of respect for women. In the cafi??scene, the boys try to dominate the women and much to their amazement she is aware of this and stands her ground. She confronts Travis, which is shown as an animalistic fight, symbolising the woman’s power. On the other hand, the women within the school are shown as below the men and boys of the school. To try and break to freedom, the woman walks around the school naked in one scene whilst the boys are out on military training; this is perhaps to show her own form of rebellion against the system. The Crusaders are punished for their rebellion during their training and are asked to tidy a room.
The woman from the cafi?? symbolises her maternal instinct by protecting an embryo in a jar. It is important to note that when the Crusaders revolt, it is the same woman that fights with them and fires the final shot that kills the head teacher, symbolising the end to the regime and control under the system within the school. From a feminist perspective this would show the woman being powerful in the midst of chaos and standing up for their rights. Under the schools system, women are doormats and from the revolution, this woman has broken free.
This film presents Marxism, Functionalism and Feminism in an interesting way to question the stability of the system within the school. The film title itself means if society could be different, how would it be? Would it thrive or crumble? It also makes the audience question whether the society we live in is right, is authority due to status a correct way to base our society?
We are ruled by dominant ideology and just accept this as the norm but the Crusaders in the film show their rebellion and the audience tends to sympathise with them, however we may not be able to see this in our own society. Perhaps this film could be seen as a warning in that if the system does not make some changes to stop exploiting the working class, then a revolution may take place as it did in the end of ‘If… ‘. It is important to note nonetheless that this film is from a Marxist point of view and therefore will have aimed to encourage sympathy for the Crusaders and their beliefs.