Gran Torino General Information: - released 05.03.2008 (Germany) Sense of Belonging Sue Thao -no friends/relationship -no plans for the future -does not have feeling of belonging → Thao doesn't belong to anyone- besides his family that's why he steels/ tries to steel Walts Gran Torino in order to belong to the Hmong gang → later he belongs to Walt who helps him and takes care of him -Raised by a single mother and grandparents Kommunikationsprüfung in the end: is he successful achieving a sense of belonging? →yes: shows stability an support for his sisters and family, has begun to actively shape his life Thao -has difficulties finding cultural identity >Hmongs are scattered in Asia > torn between Hmong and American culture -part of American society: goes to school, meets with friends -strong feeling of belonging/>Estranged from his Sons well-integrated and their Family >No real friends (only -part of Hmong culture -part of a large family in the end: is she successful achieving a sense of belonging? →no: from the optimistic, sensible and life-affirming young woman to a struggling broken girl Walt -lonely and grumpy old man →no close relations to others: superficial friendships: barbershop, drinking buddys) → Stereotypical "hard men" behavior >typical representative of a blue-collar worker -part of polish- catholic community -realises that he does not belong ("last of hid kind" in his street) → Walt used to belong to his wife- but not really to his sons or church → takes care of Thao as if he were his Son (in his own way) in the end: is he successful achieving a sense of belonging? →Yes: he is not grumpy, arrogant, distanced anymore >he opens...
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up, finds a new family and purpose in life >becomes a role model tom Thao →No: he sacrifices this life Ambiguity of belonging Walt → Ambiguity of belonging: feeling of not fitting in with the changed conditions >especially that his neighborhood is now dominated by Hmong Americans -he doesn't fit into the modern American Sue -deeply rooted in the Hmong culture Kommunikationsprüfung >contrast American teenagers: prefers reading over Smartphone (doesn't have one) → tries to integrate into American society (lacks simple things like a car or a job) -he is unsure of his gender identity >Latino and Hmong gang members question his masculinity >gets bossed around by his sister >grandmother worries he can't fill the role of the man in the house society (old timer with special respect for: >ideal white predominance >racial prejudice against minorities >respect for old >exclusive prejudice against minorities) -he is torn between his own "spoilt rotten" family and the Lor family where he gets what he misses with his own relatives →in the end successful overcome ambiguity of belonging (family) >he chose Hmong neighbors instead of his own family -relation to church remains unclear →SUFFERS FROM AMIGUITY OF BELONGING- > MADE HIM GRUMPY How do they manage to change things? Walt -watches Sue and Thao's ways of 2behavior and their situations - compares the Lor family with his own family -realises different ways of his and other people's 2behavior as helpful or not for others -reflects on his (former) duty as a soldier and his duties as a man today >questions his prejudices and moves beyond them >opens up and reaches out to other people (the Lor family, father Janovich) >gives up his real family in favor to the Lors >accepts Sues quality as a role model >wants to change life by mentoring Thao >as a war veteran: faces and accepts his past Thao -takes responsibility, accepts that he will have to take care of his life himself -stands up for his ideas -develops plans for the future -becomes active in their pursuit but also perfectly at ease with the American way of life Sue -does not really change anything -her optimism comes to an abrupt end when she is raped by her cousin's gang Characters throughout the movie Walt: in the beginning he is a grumpy, bitter old men. He is known as quite a racist but develops into a caring role model for especially Thao and somehow also for Sue. Thao: In the beginning of the Film he is known as quite a coward, whom is easy to bully. He slowly matures with Walt's help into an ambitious young men. Sue: She mainly functions as a mediator between different parties, mainly between Walt and the Hmong. Pastor: He operates as Walt's good conscience, but in the end supports Walt's action against the Hmong gang. Walt's family: They are a big disappointment for Walt and somehow are one of the reasons for his isolation. Hmongs: The Hmong community welcomes Walt mainly with open arms. They give Walt the feeling of a second (better) family. Hmong Gang: They push Walt towards Thao and the other way round, they actually are the main reason for the bond between Walt and Thao. Action: -Walt cleaning his car carefully -Thao breaking in in order to -beginning of their steal the GT relationship -symbolizes the "hatred"/ difficult relationship toward/ to his family -Walt's granddaughter Ashley is smoking in the Garage she wants to inherit the GT Kommunikationsprüfung The meaning of the car (Gran Torino) Significance: -Walt's one and only now that his wife is gone -When Walt lend the GT to Thao for his date -Thao drives off with the GT in the end -sign of trust and friendship -Walt lives on because Thao takes care of the GT and the Dog Function for the movie: -beginning of the "guiding line" →symbol for ongoing/following action → creates sympathy for Walt's personality → The car brings Walt and Thao together → The movie title is fitting since the line of action starts with the GT Roots of Racism tolerace = tolerant diversity = Vielfalt "Racism is rooted in ignorance" (lacking patriotism is not the root of racist ideas, neither is ignorance and hate) Racist ideas have usually been produced by some of the most brilliant and cunning minds of each era. Walt Kowalski racism -Walt as father figure →Walt turns into a good person after all "happy ending" → at the beginning his racism is serious (angry, disgusted, disrespectful, grumpy) →most of the insults at the beginning Walt speaks to himself →development of the film: racist remarks tent to become more ironic Walt as a War Veteran The Hmong and the secret war: -began around the time US became officially involved in the Vietnam War -1960s US CIA began to recruit train lead the Hmong people in Laos -About 60% of all Hmong men joined the "secret war" -after the US withdraw, Hmong people became targets -many Hmong refugees were resettled in the US after the Vietnam war Relevant Vocabulary The Korean war: -began when the North Korean communist army entered the non communist South Korea -officially, the US intervened as part of a "police action" run by UN when actually the UN was simply being manipulated by US and NATO anticommunist interests -peace treaty was signed to end the Korean War (to break) a bond- eine Bindung (brechen) loneliness, solitude = Einsamkeit, abgeschiedenheit ambivalent/ambiguity/ ambigous = Zwiespaltig, Mehrdeutigkeit acceptance = Akzeptanz alienation - to feel alienated = Entfremdung; Distanzierung / self-perception = Selbstbild / peer pressure = Gruppenzwang