Crime & Courts

Oscar Pistorius really wants to go home, new developments tell it all

It’s clear that Oscar Pistorius is desperate to be let out of prison given the actions he’s taking right now.

On Valentine’s Day in 2013, neighbors of Oscar Pistorius’s home reported hearing gunfire. The incident occurred at the residence. Unfortunately, it was Oscar Pistorius who shot and killed his wife, Reeva Steenkamp, although many people believed it was a robbery.

In response to an appeal from the government, the Supreme Court of Appeal of South Africa increased the sentence by nine years, bringing the total to fifteen years in November of 2017.

After that, it was revealed that Oscar Pistorius will be able to apply for parole in the year 2022. As the final need for parole, Oscar Pistorius was transferred a few months ago from a prison in the province of Gauteng to a prison in the province of Eastern Cape so that he could meet with Reeva Steenkamp’s parents.

Oscar Pistorius really wants to go home,

Now that everything was finished, he was ready to be released, but the department of Correctional Services would not let him go.

It has recently come to light that Oscar Pistorius will be appearing in court to argue for his release on parole.

Pistorius submitted to the courts in a statement, “I humbly submit that I have done everything in my power to rehabilitate, to conduct myself in such a manner as to constantly comply with prison rules, and to show full contrition.”

Late in June of 2016, a broadcast of the first interview that convicted murderer and paralympian Oscar Pistorius had given since the death of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp in 2013 was made available to the public. It is frequently referred to as a “interview” in the commentary provided by major media outlets, despite the fact that its title is “Oscar Pistorius: The Interview.” On the other hand, it is structured like an investigative television program or documentary that is guided by a presenter and include multiple interviews with Pistorius, as well as interviews with other people and archival material.

After the show, Pistorius was accused of being dishonest and manipulative by viewers and commentators alike. The way in which the program was filmed, edited, and structured all have an effect on how a viewer “reads” the piece. This “reading” involves determining whether or not Pistorius is serious and telling the truth.

An examination of the documentary’s structure reveals that it was created using a three-act format, continuity editing, and shots that were carefully prepared. The audience gets drawn into a story that is in part suspenseful, in part dramatic, and in part scandalous as a result of this.

a pair of artificial legs

When one watches the documentary, it becomes immediately apparent that multiple interviews with Pistorius were conducted in at least four distinct places. It seems that each interview focuses on a different subject: a recounting of the events that transpired on the night that Reeva Steenkamp was murdered; views on the legal procedure; and specifics of Pistorius’s capabilities, both with and without the use of his prosthetic legs.

In the courtroom during the trial of Oscar Pistorius were Reeva Steenkamp’s parents, Barry (C) and June (C-L) Steenkamp, who are pictured above. Alon Skuy/EPA
The events of the evening of Steenkamp’s death are described by him in the interview that elicits the most strong feelings from him. Pistorius breaks down into tears during this key interview as he describes the instant he realized that Steenkamp had passed away.

The scene, which occurs sometime about the middle of the documentary, is a classic example of the three-act structure that is common in both fictional and non-fictional films. This so-called “midpoint” is intended to engage the viewer by providing a climax halfway through the piece; it draws the audience in. Its purpose is to keep the audience’s attention.

When looking at the cinematography and editing of this interview, there are a few aspects that jump out in particular. Pistorius may be seen from two different perspectives: one of them shows him from the side, almost in profile, and the other one shows him practically directly from the front.

The head-and-shoulders shot from the profile perspective can be either somewhat loose or relatively tight, but the close-up shot from the front viewpoint is relatively tight. The background is slightly blurry in each of these shots, as well as the one taken by the investigative journalist Mark Williams-Thomas, who is conducting the interview, which directs the viewer’s attention to the faces of the two guys.

Crying Pistorius

The scene in which Pistorius is seen crying is captured from the frontal perspective in a very close-up shot. Pistorius is framed in this program in a variety of different ways, but this particular one is the most personal. It is a type of composition that is typically utilized to bring the listener into a closer relationship with the topic. Its purpose is to generate sympathy from the audience or to provide the impression that they have a close connection to the topic at hand or have special access to it.

The background of the primary interview with Pistorius is light. It consists of an off-white wall and windows with horizontal blinds that have been swiveled to let light through. The Williams-Thomas background is far darker, and there is no detail that can be seen out. This indicates that they are competing forces that come at the subject matter from a variety of distinct perspectives.

When Williams-Thomas is presented on screen during the course of this interview, his expression is nearly always expressionless and occasionally even severe. From about the middle his tone is more overtly adversarial. It would seem that he is putting more effort into questioning Pistorius, which is a good indication for the investigation.

However, these are only structural and aesthetic signifiers; they do not in any way show anything about Williams-Thomas’ journalistic honesty or objectivity. It is possible that all of these aspects of his background, including his time spent as a law enforcement officer, will have a role in the way he is portrayed on the show and contribute to the development of his on-screen image.

Pistorius’ account of the events has been met with criticism from certain quarters on the grounds that it comes out as overly rehearsed. It’s possible he’s telling the truth about what happened; he’s discussed it a number of times since the shooting, including with his attorneys and while he was on trial.

The manner in which the events are related in the programme avoids contradictions and provides explanations for seemingly unmotivated actions, including the ones that were pointed out based on his testimony in court. [T]he way in which the events are related in the programme includes:

This recounting by Pistorius is done with such care and precision that it almost sounds staged. However, it is not feasible to determine whether this impression was caused by the manner in which he related the event during the interview or by the manner in which that recounting of the incident was edited. It is also impossible to determine which aspects of the story he incorporated on his own volition and which were added in response to questions posed by the journalist.

A dramatic composition with three acts.

The format of a traditional broadcast documentary, which is based on a three-act structure, is adhered to throughout the entirety of the program.

In the first of the play’s three acts, the main character is presented, the setting and the problem are outlined, and the play’s dramatic question is posed: “Was this a murder that was planned out beforehand?” It is also important to note that this section of the interview contains excerpts from the most emotional part of the conversation.

In order to pique the audience’s interest at the start of a television documentary, it is customary to present a few surprising or controversial scenes from later in the piece at the opening of the program. Because we observe Pistorius’s breakdown before we hear the discourse that preceded it, the expression of emotion may come out as unmotivated and fake in this scenario. If the spectator were to see the entire interview in the sequence in which it was presented, it is highly probable that Pistorius’s emotions might be interpreted in a different way.

Several things occur during the middle section of the documentary, which is the second and longest of the three acts. This act also contains the most information. Additional information is provided by the character. These disclosures, archive material, opinions from experts, the use of pretty gory crime scene images, and the questions and assertions of the journalist all work together to draw the spectator in.

When the shot of Pistorius breaking down is held without cutting until after he covers his face with his hands, it is one of the more melodramatic moments in the film. There are other moments that are also on the verge of being overly dramatic. Furthermore, there are times when sensationalism is employed. Among these is a sequence in which Williams-Thomas urges Pistorius to remove his artificial legs so that he can demonstrate how he walks on his natural legs, which Pistorius does. In addition to this, there are several transitions between bloody crime scene images.

At roughly the same time as Pistorius’s musings on his sentence are incorporated into the narrative, there is a transition into the third and final act of the play. In this passage, he insists that the killing should be understood to have occurred as a result of an accident rather than a premeditated act. In addition to that, he makes what sounds like an argument for a more lenient punishment.

Judge Thokozile Masipa. Siphiwe Sibeko/Reuters Attempting to shape public opinion

This is the point at which Pistorius looks to be the most fake and cunning, as he appears to propose to conduct humanitarian work instead of carrying out the entirety of his sentence. It is possible to speculate as to whether or not this is intended to influence the perceptions of viewers, or perhaps even of Judge Thokozile Masipa, who was scheduled to sentence Pistorius within two weeks of the broadcast. Speculations can be made about whether or not this is intended to influence either of these individuals.

There is room for conjecture over whether Pistorius volunteered these points of view on his own volition or whether he was responding to particular queries that Williams-Thomas posed to him as a leading inquiry. It is quite unlikely that anyone other than the people who produced the program will ever find out. But the fact that Pistorius volunteered to be interviewed at this time is noteworthy, as is the fact that the program was televised so close in proximity to the sentencing.

When it comes down to it, using structural analysis to determine whether or not Pistorius was being truthful in his account of the events is difficult. The manner in which the show was organized, as well as the viewer’s prior familiarity with the proceedings and the trial, both have an impact on the viewer’s opinion of how honest he is.

I have no doubt that the question of whether or not we can or ought to believe what Pistorius says will generate a lot of discussion. After Masipa has announced Pistorius’s sentence, speculation will undoubtedly shift to the likely effect of the documentary, and this will occur regardless of the severity of Pistorius’s punishment.

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