The main character within our film is a young woman who has been repeatedly abused by her father and locked away for 24 years. We wanted her to represent others who have suffered similar abuse. We researched similar characters in the media and found two, which particularly stood out.
First, we looked at a character from Eastenders; Whitney Dean. She had been sexually abused by her step-father which strongly links to the theme of our film.
Another media product we looked at was a campaign advert for Barnardo’s Children’s Charity. The advert focuses on a shocking theme of child prostitution, which links more roughly to the theme of our product.
The image on the left is a still of Whitney Dean from an episode of Eastenders. Whilst Whitney and Elisabeth don’t look similar, both characters have been through similar physical and emotional situations. Both have been abused sexually by fathers in their lives and struggled to get away from their situations. When choosing a costume for Elisabeth, we had to bear in mind that she was imprisoned over 24 years ago; therefore she didn’t have access to modern clothes, unless her father brought them down to the cellar. In contrast, Whitney is a more modern character and of a younger generation. Her attitude is completely different to Elisabeth’s because she’s had more time in the real world. Even though Whitney acts as though she can look after herself, certain moments in her story show that she’s damaged and scared inside, just as Elisabeth is.
The image on the left is from a campaign advert for Barnardo’s Children’s Charity about the prevention of child prostitution. Although this isn’t the same as Elisabeth’s situation, it is very similar. Both girls are vulnerable. In the Barnardo’s advert the audience do not see the little girls face, or the man’s face. This is similar to our shot, as you only see the hand of Josef Fritzl. Another similarity between the two characters is the obvious childlike appearances. In the advert, the girl is dressed in sparkly pink tights and wears pretty bracelets; very stereotypical for a little girl. The innocence is similarly symbolised in our film with the cuddly toy. Both of these representations make the suggestion of what is about to happen to both characters even more disturbing.