Saturday, January 21, 2006

A symbol in Padre Padrone

Padre Padrone depicts a shepherd boy's incessant struggle for gaining education. What I wanted to discuss here is just one symbol from the movie. I'm trying to interpret it my own way. In the movie this particular symbol appears a handful of times and if I'm right, it is also the final shot in the movie. Gavino, the protagonist, has a habit of swinging the upper half of his body back and forth whenever he sits somewhere contemplatively. This swinging is rather an unconscious process in his wakefulness. Young Gavino of 12 years of age or less is shown in the film as swinging back and forth at an abnormal speed. At this age he had not gained proper education. During his educational life, when he was in the barracks, he retains this habit, but at a slower pace. Finally, at the end of the movie, when he overpowered his father in the face of the latter's domineering instructions, Gavino is shown to follow his habit of sitting and swinging back and forth. But there is a difference this time. After three or four cycles, he becomes aware of his unconscious act and controls it. This is shown in the film as happening when Gavino has received a good amount of education and when he is expected to have control over his self.

My interpretation is that, this habit of uncouscious swinging is a symbolization of raw and untrained mind. When individuals receive education, they gain control over themselves and cease to be 'animals'. Education brings in self-consciousness and control over mind. Does this symbol offer anything for the future?

Click here to read the synopsis of the film

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