Sunday, March 10, 2013

"Sonne" and fairy tales



The heavy metal song “Sonne” by Rammstein seems to have no related to theme Snow White at first; but it supplements the content of the video, which is rather fierce to me. It is easy to identify the video using Snow White theme by looking at the appearances of main characters, but the video’s plot was opposite to “Snow White” fairy tales’.

Snow White in “Sonne” is distinguishable by her dress along with white skin, red lips and black hair – similar to the character in Disney version. Seven men in the video looks dirty as miners, they work strenuously in the dark mine just like seven dwarfs in Snow White fairy tales. 
However the depiction of Snow White in the video clip is quite shocking to me. She is a big cruel girl that scares the dwarfs as she appears. Snow White in fairy tales is na├»ve, docile, endangered by the queen and needs protection from the dwarfs. She volunteers to do the housekeeping job, cooking or sewing for the dwarfs. In contrast, in the video, she seems to hold supreme power. She is abusive and even drug addicted. Unlike Snow White in fairy tales who is an immature figure, Snow White in “Sonne” is mature, and can also be considered a maternal figure that lines up the dwarfs to spank them. The dwarfs, who are illustrated as humble workers in the fairy tales, turn into passive and obedient figure. 

In my opinion, the video portrays the throne of woman in the house and the dwarfs suffer so much under her power. Snow White in the music video also falls into sleep coma like the one in fairy tale version, but when it happens the dwarfs look happy as I can see the smile from some of them. There are two common symbols in two Snow White versions. One is the apple and the other is the glass coffin. Apple may stand for the sexual attraction of a woman, or Snow White herself. The coffin represents men, who are passive in the video. In the end of the clip, the coffin buries Snow White, but it is so vulnerable that it breaks out when the apple falls down. It is the apple that awakes her from the coma not put her to death. My guess is that the ending implies the domination of woman power in the world that those seven men live in. Happiness of seven dwarfs does not last long as Snow White will soon come back and continue to rule.
I personally prefer the fairy tale version because story in the video by Rammstein is somehow too audacious for me. In Snow White fairy tales, I really like the polarization of women’s personalities (Snow White and the queen) or the construction of two mother figures (the biological mother and the stepmother). The plot is in consistent sequence and the story connects with my childhood, teaching me many meaningful lessons.