The narrative shows the police as being racist even the black ones. The narrative portrays the girls as being clever and more sensible then the males. ‘That’s when the blood separates from the plasma’. This shows that they already have a good knowledge about death. The second part of the opening scene is the classroom scene. This scene shows a white teacher teaching non-white kids white history and not black history. The narrative in this scene shows how white teachers are seen as being more educated then blacks.
Young Tre (played by Desi Arnez Hines) is the only pupil in the class that has a good knowledge of history, ‘My dad says that everyone’s from Africa’ Tres dad Jason ‘Furious’ Styles (played by Laurence Fishburne) teaches Tre relevant information which gives him a wider range of information compared to the other students. The narrative portrays Tre as an intelligent individual who in this scene is dressed in a shirt and trousers which is very formal if you compare it to what Bobby is wearing. Bobby has no idea about his culture, roots and his background.
‘I’m not from Africa I’m from Crenshaw Mafia’. This shows that his trying to be cool and a gangsta (Macho Bravado). This causes conflict between the two young boys which causes them to argue and then to fight. ‘African booty scratchier’ This is racism between blacks which again is another example of black on black crime. Bobby whose very ghetto tries to threaten Tre’ ‘I’ll get my brother to shoot you in the face’, and Tre replies, ‘I’ll get my dad at least I’ve got one’ Lots of kids in this environment don’t have fathers so it’s a privilege to have one.
The third scene in the opening sequence is the telephone conversation scene which starts with a non-digetic sound where we hear the conversation between someone and a teacher but we only see black youths (Juveniles) with nothing to do gambling on the street which turns into a fight. This is followed by a digetic sound and that’s when we finally see the person that’s talking on the phone. The narrative in this scene shows us Tres mum Reva Devereaus (played by Angela Bassett) who is a educated and working mother who’s working full time and studying for her masters degree which is not common for a young black woman to be doing.
Reva is angry at Tre because he has broken his contract which was made for him so that he would agree to get into less trouble. But because of this he has to go and live with his dad who’s stricter then his mother. These three opening scenes are shown in the first 5 minutes of the film. The second time period of this film that we looked at was set in the year 1991. In this scene the music starts off mysterious because a car which is driving slowly which gives the feeling that someone’s about to die.
Through this scene you can still hear different sirens which again show the genre of the film (re-insuring genre). When the college man arrives helicopter sirens are heard and he seems to find it unusual whereas Doughboy (played by Ice Cube), Mad Dog (played by Lexie Bigham) and Knucklehead #2 (played by Lloyd Avery) see it as normal. This time frame shows the relationship between Ricky and his mum Mrs Baker, (played by Tyra Ferrell) and the way she treats Doughboy (Darin) differently and the way the narrative portrays the fact that it’s because they both have different dads.
In this scene Mrs Baker and Ricky are both represented in the same colour clothes which could indicate that it’s a significant scene or also because Ricky’s her favourite son. Doughboy seems to always be drinking through out the film which could be because it wastes time and also makes him feel better about himself because his mother has always been putting him down, and because of this he takes his frustration out on his friends and tries to show them that he has power.
His also upset and jealous because Ricky has a more successful life whereas his trapped by crime in the life of the ghetto. Doughboy seems to always be talking about women in a derogatory way by always putting them down (Bitches and Hoes). The patterns between both Ricky and Doughboy started from when they were young and the narrative in the film shows how they had grown up to become what they are now and still nothing has changed. Tre and Ricky have more of a bond then Doughboy and Ricky because Tre helps Ricky.
The college man and Tre’s dad Furious are good role models and is father like and concerned for young black boys. Ricky had always enjoyed sports so he to relies on sports to get him into college, he hadn’t thought about taking any other subjects so he asks Mr Curran if he believes he can do it and Mr Curran replies, ‘Young brother I think you can do anything you put your mind to’. This shows that Mr Curran has high expectations of Ricky although he didn’t know that Ricky was a young father, because going to college means having responsibilities and a child means having responsibilities.
Ricky being a father is significant because most characters in this film have grown up without fathers. Ricky’s mum has always put Doughboy down and has always praised Ricky. ‘I always knew you would amount to something’. She constantly nurtures Ricky, for him to be something in life. Whereas Doughboy has been underestimated so he even believes he can’t achieve anything in life. The shot where Mrs Baker is talking to Ricky is the only real shot where we get a glimmered of hope because this is the scene where she tells Ricky how proud she is of what his trying to make of his life.
This film portrays the difference between black and white, streetwise and the home, because at home in this scene their dressed formally and on the street there dressed street like and the language outside is slang whereas the language inside is formal. Men and women because through out the film females are spoken about in insulting ways and their subordinated because they are held back and held down by the males. Other differences are intelligence and ignorance and the most important difference in this scene is Ricky and Doughboy. John Singleton’s main slogan in this film was to: ‘Increase the Peace’.