Part of your essay should include references to analytical terms like setting, framing, conflict, and message. In what follows, we will look at each of these aspects in relation to the short film “Washdays” by Simon Neal.
By setting we understand the physical place(s) where the action of a film takes places, as well as the time setting, and social context of the events.
The physical setting is Wandsworth, a relatively poor area of London, and the way the characters are dressed and interact suggest the time setting is contemporary British society.
Elements of the physical setting are Kyle’s house—his bedroom, the bathroom, and the living room—and the school, the medical facility, the library and the supermarket.
The wet sheets and the bathroom are symbolical of Kyle’s bedwetting problem and the feelings of shame that he experiences. he ending of the film, showing the washed sheet drying on a washing line outside is symbolic of overcoming shame.
By framing, we understand the way a movie shot (image) is composed, the way in which subjects and objects appear in the frame, and the angles used to film.
By conflict we understand a struggle between opposing forces, opposing ideas, feelings, or characters. Conflicts can be external (caused by external factors) or internal (within a character).
The short film follows both external and internal conflicts. Kyle has an internal conflict caused by the fact that he has a shameful problem—he constantly wets his bed. Throughout the film, this conflict grows as Kyle takes some extreme decisions to try to deal with his problem. His problem makes him do unethical things: to skip school, to lie, and to steal.
The message of the short film is that dealing with shameful problems can be extremely complicated for children and can lead to even more problems. The film tries to criticise views according to which wetting the bed is something that children should be held responsible for, as it is an involuntary action.