Final Blog Post of the Semester

Which film that we watched over the course of the semester was your favorite? Why? Which was your least favorite? Explain.
What is another movie that you know of that would fit in with this elective curriculum? Give a brief summary of it an link to where I can read about it.

A film that we watched over the course of this semester that was personally my favorite had to be A Real Women has Curves  and the movie Maria Full of Grace. These two were personally my favorite because I feel that a lot of people can relate to A real Women has Curves due to the fact that its about a teenage girl and her struggle in her family and the college process and its all pretty relatable to us teens. The second movie was also one of my favorite film because it involved one topic that was pretty interesting to learn about. This movie was about trafficking drugs by ingesting them into your body and travel from one place to another. You typically always hear that women are always struggling due to low economy, especially if they are young and pregnant, so coming to the United States for a better life for her child and seeing her go through that process was pretty entertaining.

Another movie that would be a good one to show for this elective curriculum would be the movie called, “Voces Inocentes” or Innocent Voices in English. This movie takes place during the Salvadorian Civil War and focuses on one kid called Chava and his journey with his family. The main struggle that he and is family has is, his father took off to the United States and is sort of helping them financially but his mother struggles to find a job that will support her three children. But Chava’s main concern is trying to not get recruited by the guerilla because all they want in little boys to help fight in the war during this time.

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Blog Post 7

Who is your favorite (visual) artist? What art medium does this person create (paintings, sculptures, sketches, photography etc.)? Is their art more abstract or concrete? Modern or classical?
What do you think about Frida Kahlo and/or Diego Rivera and their art? How would you compare it to that of your favorite artist? Feel free to look up more information/use pictures but please site any sources that you use.

My favorite visual artist will have to be Vincent Van Gogh. Van Gogh is a Post-Impressionist and he creates a lot of paintings. He is famous and mainly known for his painting Starry Night.  I would say that his work is pretty concrete because being abstract would mean you wouldn’t understand what his work is at first glance. His work has significant meaning behind it and is pretty straight forward, he does a lot of still life and portraits. His work would be considered classical because since he is mainly focused on post-impressionism, his works tends to be more reflective on the old times and old fashion ways

I like Frida Khalos art because they are almost always about her and as simple as they seem they have a deep meaning behind them. As for her as a person, it makes the work even more amazing because most of these pieces of work she had done when she was in critical condition. I would compare her work to Van Gogh because they are pretty straightforward and have deep messages behind their work.

Which Way Home

Write a review of the documentary, Which Way Home. How did this movie make your feel? Did you think it was a better portrayal of what kids have to go through when they immigrate illegally than Under the Same Moon? Why or why not?

If you put in all that work and risked your life to make it to the US and instead got caught and deported, would you try to make the journey all over again? Why or why not?

In the documentary Which Way Home focused on the struggles of child immigrants. These children are on their journey to come to the United States from Mexico. The movie bases on the lives of many little kids who are in search for their parents. These kids are either 9 -17 years old and they are faced with the struggle of having to grow up without their parents or having to take on many responsibilities to fill the shoes of their parents. The main reason they leave to the United States is to find a better life away from home, they not alone have struggles with family but with themselves, being away and being on your own causes one to go into a depression or causes one to do  crazy things such as addictions. In a sense I think this was a better portrayal of what kids go through when they immigrate than Under The Same Moon, because you are seeing how it affects many people from different ages. This is a better representation because you see many different points of views and how people struggle with one another and sometimes people might think that the other movie is all just made up because its a movie, and don’t take into consideration of what is actually going on.

Coming from a family that has given up a lot to come here and seeing all the hard work they put to have a better life than they had in Mexico, I think that if I were to face all that they faced and then end up being deported back I will make the journey back and risk it all. I would do this because I know that I can have a better life and a better chance at my future back here in the United States. I would still have everything that I fought so hard to gain and will make wiser choices now, than I did before. The times are rough here when passing the border but I know that I will be smart because I have done this before and will only be looking forward to the future that I will continue to have here.

Evita The Musical

Write a review of Evita, the musical. Be sure to hit all of the points below: – What did you learn from the movie? Did you like the story? – Why was Eva Perón such a controversial figure in Argentine history? Why was she loved by some but disliked by others? Did you enjoy the music? Would you have enjoyed the movie better if it were not a musical? Why or why not?

Evita poster.jpgThe movie Evita the musical, was based on the life of a woman by the name of Evita Duarte. She was the most loved person in Argentina because she was the most involved person in her community despite being from a low class family. Which made her even more special. Once she got married to Juan Peron and became the first lady of Argentina is when everything changed. People started seeing her differently and believe that she had betrayed them. This was mainly because they thought she had forgotten about where she came from and now that she had this “fame” in her head she wasn’t going to be the same as before. What I learned from the movie is that no matter what Evita did she still had people that admire her but also social statues is something people are big on and is important to everyone. She was a controversial figure because she got married and became the first lady when all her life she had been helping the poor and came from a lower class. 

If Evita was more of a movie than a musical I think I would have enjoyed this movie, although the songs were good and had a nice meaning to them, it sort of did get annoying. Not being able to hear them talk in full sentences without having them break into a song can be too much for my head.

Aguantando/ Bajo La Misma Luna

In the Chapter “Aguantando” from Drown by Junot Diaz, it focuses on two kids who live in Santo Domingo with their mother. They were told by their mother that their father wrote letter claiming he will return for them. They soon end up losing hope that their father wasn’t coming home. They received a letter from their father saying that he will return for them but the day he finally came home Yunior didn’t recognize him. Leaving and not coming back for long periods of time causes loss in communications between family relations. Yunior grew up without  dad so he didnt get the knowledge that any father would give their son, he never understood the relationship between his father and mother. When his father finally came Yunior was so distant from him because he’s never seen his father for the past nine years, or doesn’t have any memory of him in his first 4 years. He knew that that was his father because of the resemblance but there was no connection between them until he finally said Yuniors name.

The movie Bajo La Misma Luna is about a young boy named Carlitos who lives with his grandparents in Mexico while his mother, Rosario,has been in Los Angeles for the past 4 years, working two jobs to gain money to provide for him. Carlitos has a mini job by helping out Doña Carmen in translating for clients that want to cross the border and get jobs in the United States. One day Carlitos grandma passes away and in fear that his “uncle” was going to take him away he fled in search for his mother. Many things went wrong in heading to Los Angeles, he met this guy who helped him out in looking for his mother called Enrique. Rosario thought it was best for her to get married to one of her close friends so they can bring Carlitos to L.A  When Rosario immigrated to the United States, she was hoping to raise money so she can give Carlitos everything he wanted and in hopes that one day she would be able to get Carlitos to Los Angeles. I think this movie was a better way to show what kids go through when their parents leave to the “other side” because it showed all the struggles they face. Whether if it was the death of a grandparent, not having any other family to stay with, being looked down by other kids because they have a lot of new things and they live in a poor community. It shows how the kid was feeling because the mom decided to leave for 4 years and how Carlitos thought it was all his fault and that nobody loves him. It demonstrates how he grows up because he doesn’t have a father and his mother left and how he manages to take matters into his own hands and do everything possible to cross the border to be with his mother, and get that happy ending hes been wanting for 4 years.

“Machuca”/ “La Historia Oficial” Review

Write a review of the movie. Did you think it was a good choice to have kids as the main characters in a movie about political  history? Why or why not?

The movie Machuca consisted of 3 main kids. Pedro Machuca, Gonzalo and Silvana who lived in Chile, During this time there was a rivalry between the Communist and Capitalist parties  and basically social classes. Machuca is poor underprivileged kid who attends a rich kid school and gets bullied for being poor. Gonzalo becomes friends with him and defends him but along with being his friend he see all the struggles that Machuca goes through such as selling flags with his cousin, Silvana, and uncle to get money for their family. In a sense I think it was a good choice to have kids play the main characters in the movie because it shows how they struggle as well such as the schools and how after this whole rivalry their education becomes different and their way of teaching changes. On the other hand it would have made more sense to cast adults as the main roles because then we would have gotten a little bit more of the feeling of how Communism and Capitalism was affecting them because they actually understand more of whats going on.

What did you learn about Chile’s political history while watching this film? How does the film compare to other events you have learned about in history?

One thing I learned about Chile’s political history is that they don’t really care about the peoples opinions, they only care about their social class. If they are for the opponent side they will do everything to eliminate them or torture them but if not they will let them walk free. Also that education is also a factor in it because its a place where they can start manipulating young kids minds into thinking about what the right thing to do. The plot in the movie was when the kids got into a fight and then that’s when the parents got involved because that was between a ‘poor’ and a ‘rich’ kid. They believed that the didn’t belong there and had to leave, so when they protested they were even more passionate about it.  This film compares to other events in history because its people protesting and fighting for one party, communism or capitalism. I guess you can say its sort of like the Vietnam War because that was a fight to prevent the spread of Communism, and keep all Southeastern Asian countries capitalist. Many people protested and many people/kids died and suffered a lot because of what they believed in.

Latin American Literature

Last week in my Latin American Literature class we watched a movie called The Devil’s Miner, listened to a song called Preparame La Cena, saw paintings by Debora Arango and read a poem by Lilian Viacava. Focusing on the song by Calle 13 and the paintings by Debora Arango a reoccurring theme was child exploitation.

In the music video “Preparame La Cena” by Calle 13 – that can be watched here; http://vimeo.com/4786133–  had many scenes happening but the main theme was child exploitation and gaining money. The video consist of many little kids putting their lives in danger by taking jobs as miners, selling themselves to gain money, and doing it all for their family. The video also shows different aged people, this goes to show that once you enter the job you never end up leaving. You stay working for them until you die or get injured and cant work no more. Its upsetting to see kids at such a young age to have to wokr to support their family even if it mean selling themselves short.

Similarly in the paintings by Debora Arango you see a woman exploiting herself to two men, possibly doing it for money. It is said to say that the women is selling herself but deep inside she is has the heart of an innocent girl who has done nothing besides surviving in the world even if it meant not doing the right things. Child exploitation and human trafficking is a real and serious issue and at the same time its pretty scary because it can happen to anyone and be their only escape to a “better life”

Maria Full Of Grace Review

In our Latin American Literature class we watched a foreign independent film called ” Maria full of Grace” This movie was about a young 17 Colombian girl who works hard for her family in  a flower factory but ends up quitting her job because of the poor treatment from her boss. Being the money maker in the family to support her mom, her sister and her nephew this wasnt a good choice for Maria. Immediately she had to go out to look for a job, but since jobs were hard to find any job was the answer. Maria decided to take a G.N.O with her best bud Blanca where she met a guy who told her where they were hiring. After meeting  with the supervisor she accepted the job and started working from there on out. Dont want to give anything away so I’ll leave that part up to you guys.

This movie to me was pretty good and intriguing. Although some parts were pretty predictable the characters really brought life into their roles and the way they acted out made it an overall good movie. There were times were I did the typical “bruh” and wanted to knock things on the floor because I was so upset or made that they did or didn’t do anything. This was really an overall rollercoaster of reactions for me. Although the ending was not my favorite part of the movie but it honestly was the most realest thing I’ve ever seen. I would recommend this movie to my friends because its so interesting and I believe that the topic about drugs and teenagers will really intrigue them.

This movie taught me much about the Latin Amercian Culture. It taught me that many people make so many sacrifices just to make money for their family even if it means leaving to a far away country. It taught me that people will literally do anything, Even if it includes dying along the way. As sad as it may be to watch the movie its even sadder to realize that this stuff ACTUALLY happens in real life and its things people really do face daily. I applaud them and send them all my love and support. Yes I know Im cheesy.