Original Research

Stagnering en transformering: die rol van die nar in Paljas

A. Nel
Literator | Vol 24, No 2 | a288 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/lit.v24i2.288 | © 2003 A. Nel | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 01 August 2003 | Published: 01 August 2003

About the author(s)

A. Nel, Skool vir Tale, Vaaldriehoekkampus, Potchefstroomse Universiteit vir CHO, South Africa

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Stagnation and transformation: The role of the clown in Paljas

This article focuses on the central problem in the film Paljas, and the role of the clown in the process of transformation that is embedded in the story. The stagnation in interpersonal relationships and the accompanying problem of identity on a personal and social level constitute the problem underlying the narrative. The youngest child refuses to speak and dysfunctional family relationships and marital problems are evident. These problems can mainly be ascribed to the spatial isolation in which the characters find themselves. Attention is therefore paid to the way in which space functions in this film. The arrival of an absconded circus clown effects transformation and healing – especially by means of his picaresque performances and the notion of play. Subsequently this article concentrates on the characteristics of game/playing as a cultural activity and on its liberating value. The clown also has definite Biblical connotations as far as the aspects of betrayal and redemption are concerned. The process of transformation as depicted in this film is completed when the child starts speaking again, dysfunctional family relationships are restored and the family is reinstated in the community because of their restored social status.


Clown; Paljas; The Characteristics Of Playing; Space In Film


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