Analyzing mexican and mexican american films

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Iris Alfaro
Span480
Ruth Hjelm
May 11, 2010
Spring

They Way the World Perceives Us

Mexican films and Mexican-American films have many great assets, but as well, this comes with many down falls. The media is a big industry know in days. Many of the stereotypes and myths come from this source; especially from films. But as well, Both of these films instill many different elements thatportray the Mexican and Mexican-American culture. In this essay, I am going to dismantle the elements that contribute negative and positive attributions in Mexican and Mexican-American films. As well, detect the different types of myths and stereotypes that are seen in these films and how these adds or detract from the story line. Also, analyze the type of role the women play in the movie MiFamilia. Lastly, examine the role of violence in the movie Bordertown and how that serves as a social message in today’s society. Having this said, we are going to see how these films affect the perception of Mexican and Mexican-American culture in today’s society.
In Mexican and Mexican-American film there are many different elements that are very well know because they are always portrayed in thesetypes of movies; as well it sets the tone for them. Music is a major element, Mexican and Mexican-culture is alive, always moving and energetic. Along with music, there is dance. When dance is incorporated in a movie, the audience can many times detect where the type of dance comes from. Music and dance, makes it easy for the audience to detect the background of the movie and where the charactersderive from. Food is also an important element seen in these films, Mexican and Mexican-American culture take pride in their food. It also, bring the families together and creates traditions. For example, one great Mexican and Mexican-American tradition is to make tamales. This act may not always been seen in these films, but they do make an enfaces on how important food is in these cultures.Another element, is family. Mexican and Mexican-American family have many members. Even though they are big, the family members are very close to each other, even if they have never met. Both types of films portray a strong family oriented environment. The type of values that men and women are held by their family and their culture is seen in these films as well. For example, in the Mexican andMexican-American culture, women are expected to abstinent till marriage. If a women fails to do so, she is looked down upon. Lastly religion, religion plays a major role in this culture and these films always portray Mexican and Mexican-American as Catholics. Even though not all Mexican and Mexican-Americans are all Catholics, majority of the population is and the films do a great job in portraying howthese cultures practice their religions. Many of the times, all of these elements are instilled in Mexican and Mexican-American films.
The elements that I listed above can portray these two cultures in a positive and negative way. Some of these elements can carry myths and stereotypes along the way. Charles Berg, author of Latino Images in Films, explains many of the myths and stereotypes thatare seen in these films and how they portray Mexicans and Mexican-Americans. One of the major stereotypical character that is seen in film is el bandido. This character has many negative and demining attributes. El bandido is lazy, no morals and values, distrustful, brainless, has a dirty grimy look and violent. As a character that is seen in many movies, it does not portray a optimistic outlook onMexicans and Mexican Americans. In the movie, Mi Familia, Chucho plays a role of el bandido. He has a Mexican family that lives in Los Angeles. His Parents worked hard to be able to move the United States and give him a good life. Instead , Chucho takes the fast way out and starts selling drugs. He does not have any work ethics, he rather break the law than break a sweat. Chucho does not hold...
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