Citizen Kane, a citizen of the world

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Citizen Kane, a citizen of the world

The reason Citizen Kane got itself an important position in the history of cinema is mainly due to its exquisite camera work and lightning to tell the story of an important man in the world of journalism. Orson Welles uses them to opress the viewer because that is how the character feels.

The film starts by slowly taking us into Xanadu, with its sequential dissolving shots which are accompanied by a slight increase of the music, as if the sound was fearful of disturbing when we witness the death of Charlie Kane.  Charlie lost his childhood and, like a frustrated Peter Pan, all he wanted was to rescue it. Hence, he grasped for the only thing that remained - Rosebud. While little Charlie’s mother signs Mr. Tatcher’s contract, his father shuts the window (from a light snowy yard to the dark house) not only as an act that ceases Charlie’s childhood but also silencing him; Charlie didn’t have a choice. Charlie is clearly a kind, amiable, jolly and honest character. He does everything he can to show the rotten truth of the world and his urge to change it. As it is seen in the montage sequence of the initial fake documentary, everything Charlie does is for the benefit of the common man; thus, showing his generosity. However, Charlie Kane, a citizen of the world, is misunderstood by the world surrounding, specially (and oddly) by his supposed “close friends”. They don’t understand his nature and believe the things he does are for selfish reasons. The public, Jebediah and Susie are all truly loved by Charlie, but none of them believe it. “If I hadn't been very rich, I might have been a really great man.” Charlie Kane is in fact a great man, but if he was poor everyone would see him as a “hero of the people” or a good man - no one would question his reasons.

The journalist, an irrelevant and impersonal character, therefore always hidden in the shade, witnesses the same statements about Charlie’s life as the audience; his presence can be perceived as a form of aid and interconnection between the public and the narrative. However, fails to understand the true essences of the details. Even though he did not unveil the meaning of the word, it can be concluded that he heard the stories but did not truly listen, for the audience is able to truly comprehend who Charlie Kane was and his longing of returning to his happy childhood - something perceptible in Charlie’s first encounter with Susie. Orson Welles focus the camera on society’s mistakes before a man’s life. Charlie Kane's life is a a gunfire in a mirror room, however Welles would wait for Rita Hayworth to demonstrate that mind outspread of the human being.