|With a view to conducting a study of the identity portrayal as presented in the film Paljas - and
more specifically of the two youth characters, Willem and Emma - a few relevant theoretical
concepts are included in this investigation, i.e. developmental psychology, film theory and
narratology. By analysing and interpreting the film-related representation of the two youth
characters it was possible to establish to which extent and in which way the identity portrayal
of the two youth characters enhances the main theme of the film. It was, accordingly, also
possible to elucidate facets of the placement of the fictional reality as represented in the film
text and the reality as such in parallel correlation.
According to the research method that was implemented certain aspects of different related
sciences proved to be of integral importance. Such aspects included the psychological
development of the child during mid-childhood years, the psychological development of the
late adolescent, the application of film-related techniques pertaining to character portrayal and
characterisation in narratology.
During the course of this research the focus was on the identity portrayal of the two characters,
Willem and Emma as youth characters in the film Paljas. An analysis of the identity portrayal of
the youth characters implies that the investigation and application of narratology and film
theory be incorporated in conjunction with theories pertaining to developmental psychology as
specific point of focus. The research results were thus described by means of an integrated
The children's experience of interpersonal communication at their home exercises an important
influence on their identity development. The parents create the primary framework of reference
for the children's attitude, value systems and convictions in connection with life in general as
well as for their own sense of the self and their self-estimation.
Key words: film, film text, film theory, identity portrayal, interpretation, youth characters, late
adolescence, mid-childhood years, narratology, developmental psychology, Paljas, reception