May Peace Be With You…. An Audio Analysis

From the beginning, the not-so-white noise in the background is a sound of disarray while a male and female are arguing with a few obscenities being thrown. These sounds set the tone for the audio piece in Lament for Joe Hall.  The next bit of audio contains background story about how Joe came to live with his white supremacist, nazi, abusive father. The story seems to be told by a 13 year old boy who recounts events at 10 years old that led to him being labeled a murderer. Joe’s story is narrated by a young prepubescent boy that makes the story seem and feel as Joe was narrating this bit himself. Had the story been narrated by an adult male, the story would have felt nearly unbelievable or utterly false. Since the events truly occurred, it was best for the director to keep the voice of Joe in the same setting as the story. The voice of Joe, sirens, arguing, graphic story(telling), long pauses with only guitar chords being heard, yelling, and other audio boosting bits all opened up a sense of empathy and sorrow for young Joe. I could not help but feel sorry for him since he had endured in so many terrible, life-changing events in such a short span of life. It is dire to listen to the part when Joe says he had hoped that they wouldn’t find an illegal Mexican because he was terrified that they would have to kill one if found. When Joe kills his father, the effect this had on me, including all the other events, deepens the empathy I felt for Joe. He did not know the negative effects of his actions but he surely knew he had to protect himself and his step-mother. The way this story is told is dynamic. The breaks add a bit of suspense and engage me so much that even throughout the parts that are inherently racist and rude.

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