Proteus Film Analysis

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Through looking at the lens of the film “Proteus” ,which has been used as an illustration for the historical account based on the real life trial of Claas Blank and Rijkhart Jacobsz. This essay aims to argue that the historical text is untrustworthy and how the film proves this through identifying the unworthiness in the following ways: the origins of same-sex relations, contrasting how these relations are dealt with between the Cape Colony and in Amsterdam. Finally, how the significance Robben Island is illustrated in the film. Lastly, the essay will argue on the film goes against the actual depiction of the trial records and how reconstructed and imagined truths are established, ultimately raising questions and awareness that relates to current…show more content…
Secondly, those who were apart of this lifestyle were starting to discover their own identities with regards to being gay, while the film illustrates that Claas and Jacobsz were struggling individually and as a collective towards assimilating with that particular identity (Worden, 2005: 93). For example, in one scene in the film when Claas and Jacobz are engaging in sexual activity, Claas states to Jacobz that he is in fact heterosexual and has plans to marry his cousin with a large bust after he is released, revealing how deeply confused he is when it comes to his sexuality (Newton-King, 2005: 18).

Robben Island has a significance in how the film portrays the trial. This is due to the fact that the location has become a new heritage site in democratic South Africa, where on site former prisoners act as tour guides around the premises and give accounts of their experiences on the island. However, there is one problem. There is no discussion of same-sex activity as it is considered to be taboo. The film expresses the same level of denial and secrecy regarding this issue, therefore the account’s accuracy is depleted to a certain extent (Worden, 2006:

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