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Benefits Street Documentary Analysis Documentary Mode Observational and Performative Theme Residents on James Turner Street living

on Benefits and the struggles they face financially and personally. Narrative Structure Multiple strands as it follows the lives of more than one individual It is also non-linear as the starting point with single mum Dee leads to multiple developments and outcomes Camera Work There are a multiple Establishing shots such as the establishing shot of James Street and the interviewees houses. They show the audience the main settings for the documentary. Handheld is also used throughout the documentary to make the audience feel part of the documentary .For example, the handheld camera shot following black Dee down the street while she points out the large proportion of the street that is unemployed, makes the audience further understand the scale of unemployment. Thus they feel more a part of it as they can follow the narrative easily. There are a lot of cutaway shots of people smoking and rubbish which outlines the negative image James Street has. Demonstrating how bad the street as whole is struggling financially. When interviewing the main characters the shot tends to be in close up or medium close up so the audience can gage the facial expression and body

language of the characters when asked about their financial or personal situations. There are also a lot of montages of different neighbours on street talking to each other. These show how close neighbours on the street are to each other, emphasising the stereotype of poorer communities being close- Knit, which shows they are all in the same situation. Mise en Scene Most of the men and some of the women are wearing tracksuits which are usually associated with chavs, who are stereotypically poor. Thus reflecting the financial struggle that living on benefits presents. Also the street itself is very messy as there are beds and sofas flung carelessly on them. Also the interviewees houses are also quite messy with clothes all over the rooms they are interviewed in. These two elements are emphasising that James Street is a poor area, as dirtiness and untidiness is often associated with poorer people.

Sound The dialogue of the people in the interview is very informal with a lot of swear words incorporated into it. Stereotypically this kind of dialogue is associated with the poorer working class. Non-diegetic sound such as the sad mood music shows the nature of the problems residents on James Street face financially and personally.

To conclude, Benefit Street is a good example of what our documentary can contain. Using sound, mise en scene and camera work, it effectively conveys and analyses its main theme. This has made it clear that we as a group when producing our documentary need to try and emulate this, so as to make our documentary as professional as possible.