to answer some Qs after reading some materials

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to answer some Qs after reading some materials

Please answer the questions below in succinct yet complete. Try too avoid use of first person (I think, I feel, I believe, It appears to me, etc) Also, please try to use active voice (The film shows…) as opposed to passive voice voice (It was shown in the film that …)

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MI FAMILIA • Gregory Nava crafts a multi-generational epic in My Family, Mi Familia, a film that follows nearly 60 years in the life of a Latino family whose roots in the United States date back to the 1920s. • Released in 1995, Nava's film addresses themes central to the immigrant experience. • Positive cinematic representation of Latinos. • Nava's insistence that an entirely Latino cast play his characters (as opposed to bankable Anglo stars) was a victory not only for independent filmmakers working within the Hollywood system but, more importantly, for greater verisimilitude and diversity in filmmaking. • My Family/Mi Familia should be meaningful to any American who has known the immigrant experience, or indeed who has been part of a close-knit family. Still, his career to date exemplifies the difficulty of getting films—other than crime dramas and broad comedies—about particular ethnic or social groups made and distributed to a wide audience. • The film chronicles the Mexican-American experience through three generations (1920's, 1950's, and 1980's). • Mi Familia/My Family uses characters to offer representations that combat the racist representations many films construct. • Mixes social commentary with humor. • This movie has a visual freedom you rarely see on the screen. Working with cinematographer Ed Lachman, he uses color filters, smoke, shafts of sunlight and other effects to make some scenes painterly with beauty and color and he has used a painter, Patssi Valdez, to design the interior of the Sanchez home. The movie is not just in color, but in colors. • Over the years embodied the stereotypical depiction of Latinos in cinema enforcing these racial inequalities and biases - projecting stereotypes as essential truths to a primarily an non-Hispanic audience in which mainstream America tend to believe. • The battles depicted in film tend to be same battles which the members of the Latino community fight in their day-to-day lives.. • In this regard, the majority -meaning the host culture - has constructed and exploited stereotypes on people non-white enforcing white power and white privilege which is critical to the maintenance of their own white identity. • Stereotypes common to early film representing Latinos was as a greaser - an oily, dark-skinned, mustachioed bandit – the ‘dirty’ Mexican for example. Others were depicted as lazy, content to do nothing but lie under a sombrero all day. • Still yet we may have seen a Latino who was violent, cruel and hot tempered who eventually was given his due by someone from host culture. • While stereotyping in film and other media may at first appear to be innocuous, Latinos are consistently perceived as the hot-blooded lover, gang member, child-like or illegal immigrant and this helps shape how society perceives Latinos which they consider as outsiders. • This reinforces the difference and distance between ‘them’ and ‘us’ (typically immigrant culture vs. host culture). • This film shows the various relationships that the family members have toward their cultural identities and their desire to become "Americans." • As we follow the first generation of the Sanchez family, direct immigrants from Mexico, we see the desire to hold on to both their cultural traditions and values, as well as succeed in the American Dream’ • We see the fierce pride of the Latino culture shown through the character of El Californio, Jose’s distant relative who was ‘American’ well before the Manifest Destiny as Jose reaches current Los Angeles. We follow Maria’s struggle to return to her family following her illegal deportation. We are shown close-ups of Jose’s rugged lined face depicting his struggle to keep his family together through adversity. • The second generation, the children of the Sanchez family, find that this ideal of their father is impossible. • To them they are faced with the choice of either being Mexican or being American (Anglo) in their identities, while the outside institutions continue to define them. • Chucho becomes the leader of a gang called the Apostles, in the 50’s to attain the power and status Americans ‘respect. • Although adhering to stereotypical characteristics- Chucho is a drug dealer who commits murder and is eventually killed by a police officer. Nava explains the social pressures that lead Chucho to gang life. • The third generation, which takes place in the 1970s, faces situations such as acculturation, assimilation, and past problems of the family. • Mi Familia does not shy away from the fact that within the Mexican-American community there is gang violence and crime and other problems (much the same as any community) but rather than focus entirely on this fact, Nava directs to the audience a portrait of one family through their perspective of racism and life in the U.S. Background • Produced 1995. • Written and directed by Gregory Nava. • Movie traces, over three generations, an immigrant family's trials, tribulations, tragedies, and triumphs. • Characters and story largely based on Nava’s life and people he knew growing up. Setting • Barrio in East L.A. • Mexico (Michoacan, Mexico City, outskirts) Characters, Part I • • • • • • • • • José, Mexican immigrant. María, his Mexican-American wife. Paco, the narrator and eldest child. Irene, eldest daughter. Chucho, son born in Mexico. Toni, daughter who becomes nun. Guillermo (Memo), becomes attorney. Jimmy, youngest child. Butch Mejía, gang leader. Characters, Part II • • • • • Family members listed in Part I. David Ronconi. Isabel Magaña. Gloria (wealthy American woman) Gillespie family. Cultural norms • José and María try to instill the traditional Mexican family values that they both have inherited from their parents: • deep-seated Catholicism and all of the sacraments and beliefs associated with the Catholic Church,; • hard work ethic; • importance of a united traditional family with two parents who have been married through the Church and have several children. Cultural norms, cont’d • Parents find themselves losing battle against acculturation. • Children adopt behaviors and values counter to both traditional Mexican ones that Jose and Maria promote, and the normative codes of Anglo dominant culture. • Through all the beauty, laughter and tears, the strong heart of the family beats, and everything leads up to a closing scene, between old Jose and Marie, that is quiet, simple, joyous and heartbreaking. Rarely have Ihas there been in film such a sense of time and history, of stories and lessons passing down the generations, of a family living in its memories. • Their story is the story of one MexicanAmerican family, but it is also in some ways the story of all families. Watching it, it reminds the viewer of our own families’ legends and heroes and stray sheep, and the strong sense of home. "Another country?" young Jose says, when he is told where Los Angeles is. "What does that mean - `another country'?" Questions • How does the host country react to the immigrants? • What economic factors affect their lives? • Do the individual members of the family participate in the American Dream? Do the individual characters? Which? Discussion Questions • What is your cultural heritage? What does that mean to you? Have members of your own family faced cultural assimilation here in the United States? How did your family deal with that assimilation? What was their means of survival? What did you gain and what did you lose through that means of survival? Discussion Questions • What are some examples of institutional racism in this movie? What are some examples of cultural racism in this movie? How do these examples impact the Sanchez family? Discussion Questions • What do you think are the defining characteristics of Anglo American culture? What part of the Sanchez's family's culture does not fit with American Anglo culture? What part does? Discussion Questions • What makes it difficult for the Sanchez family to assimilate into American Anglo culture? Why do some of the children resist assimilating? What is the experience like for those who do assimilate? Discussion Questions • The film best of all presents the thematic theme of strong family ties, rich with culture, and the struggle to live the American Dream in the face of adversity. • By portraying Mexican-Americans as the new American family, how does Mi familia challenge and accept the traditional notions of American values? My Family/Mi familia Please answer the questions below in succinct yet complete. Try too avoid use of first person (I think, I feel, I believe, It appears to me, etc) Also, please try to use active voice (The film shows…) as opposed to passive voice voice (It was shown in the film that …) 1. In what way does the film represent and empower the non-lettered citizen? 2. By portraying Mexican-Americans as the new American family, how does Mi familia at once challenge and accept traditional notions of so-called American values? 3. Some immigrant groups have also equated education with “leaving the family behind, being ashamed of the family,” etc. How does this view affect the attainment of the American Dream. 4. What are some examples of institutional racism in this movie? What are some examples of cultural racism in this movie? How do these examples impact the Sanchez family? 5. Compare and contrast the sense of “community” that Mario Suárez presents in his short story “El Hoyo” with that of Mi familia. 6. What do you think are the defining characteristics of Anglo American culture? What part of the Sanchez’s family’s culture does not fit with American Anglo culture? 7. What makes it difficult for the Sanchez family to assimilate into American Anglo culture? Why do some of the children resist assimilating? What is the experience like for those who do assimilate? 8. What is your cultural heritage? What does that mean to you? Have you, or any of your family members, faced institutional oppression to your culture here in the United States? How did your family deal with that oppression? What was their means of survival? What did you gain and what did you lose through that means of survival? 1 ...
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School: Cornell University

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Running Head: ANSWERS BASED ON THE FILM MI FAMILIA

Answers Based On the Film Mi Familia
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ANSWERS BASED ON THE FILM MI FAMILIA

2

1. In what way does the film represent and empower the non-lettered citizen?
Mi Familia represents the non-lettered citizens by addressing the challenges and
experiences they had as immigrants. The film also enhances the cinematic representation of
Latinos. Essentially, the film’s director used Latino cast to play his characters hence supporting
plausibility, diversity, and inclusion in the film industry. Furthermore, Mi Familia utilizes Latino
characters to give representations that curb the racial representations that most films depict.
2. By portraying Mexican-Americans as the new American family, how does Mi
familia at once challenge and accept traditional notions of so-called American
values?
Mi Familia accepts and challenges the concepts of ‘American values’ by depicting the
relationships the characters have regarding their own cultural identities as well as their yearning
to become ‘Americans’. For instance, the film shows how the first generation of the Sanchez
family wants to hold on to their cultural identities and beliefs and at the same time thrive in the
American Dream.
3. Some immigrant groups have also equated education with “leaving the family
behind, being ashamed of the family,” etc. How does this view affect the attainment
of the American Dream.
The American Dream is the notion that anyone, irrespective of their cultural
backgrounds, can achieve th...

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awesome work thanks

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