WEEK 10 5
Week10: Film and Reading Reaction
LaMissionis set in the Mission District of San Francisco. It features Che, afather to Jesse, another main character in the film. Che is anold-fashioned man who believes in male masculinity. He is an exconvict and recovering alcoholic, who works as a bus driver andrestores low riders. Che loves his son and does a good job in raisinghim as a single father. However, upon realizing that his son is gay,he is infuriated and beats him up, and throws him out of the house.Che openly declares his hatred for homosexuals.
Themajor issues apparent in the film are homosexuality and interracialrelationships. Bratt intends to demonstrate the widespread view ofhomosexuality amid Latinos. He further portrays racism, through therelationship between Jesse and his white lover.
Themovie’s message is on interracial relationship, especially amonghomosexuals. The message results in development of the scenes in thefilm. Symbolism is apparent in the main character. Che symbolizesLatino male masculinity, while Jesse is employed to demonstrate thecontrast between who is perceived as a real Latino male. Jesse alsosymbolizes the fact that there are gay Latinos as well. Symbolism isimportant in bringing out the theme of racism and gay. The Aztecdancers performing at a murdered teenager’s shine is a visualmetaphor. It depicts the difference amid previous and current Chicanoculture.
LaMission contributesto comprehension of the difficulties involving interracialrelationships or sex amid characters of different races. It isapparent in the character Jesse, who has to hide his sexuality due tofear of his father’s reaction. Jesse is shot and has to deal withabuses from people who despise homosexuality.
Thereadings argue that there are gay Latino’s, and supports thedirectors depiction of the challenges Latino gays face. The readingsalso evaluate the context of male masculinity and the supposedmeaning. Masculinity is termed as being manly, meaning that gayLatinos are not depicted as manly. The piece challenges assumptionsthat families will always accept one’s sexuality. It is apparentthat though people from a family may love each other, at times thelove fades away giving way to cultural beliefs.
Thequote “how we view and define power, and how that specificallyrelates to masculinity” is important because it uses masculinity asa cause for racial and gay prejudice. Masculinity creates anold-fashioned view of life that causes people to restrict their viewtowards other’s sexuality. For instance, someone that considersthey are masculine depicts prejudice towards a homosexual from hisracial background.
Lozanoargues that in the Castro, gayness is widely defined because it is amainly white society. The quote “gayness is white construct, whichexists in white-defined spaces as Castro District” further explains(Lozano, 2010). He uses Castro just as an illustration of a placewhere gay Latinos have been accepted. Lozano further depictsmixed-race relationships as something that has been in existence,though not widely accepted in the Latino society. Solorzano-Thompsonargues that rich white men are associated with gayness amid Latinos(2010). In other gay and interracial themed films, a majority of thegay characters are rich and white forming relationships withcharacters from different races. This creates the view that gaynessis a white culture.
Solorzano-Thompsondepicts the ‘queer cholo’ archetype as someone who accepts his orher tradition, but still defies the traditionally accepted sexuality.In LaMission,it is manifested in the character Jesse. Although he dresses like atraditional Latino and lives with a cultural father, he accepts hissexuality. The writer states, “The ‘queer cholo’ identitydresses in traditional manner and we learn the young man is in factgay” (Solorzano-Thompson, 2010). It complicates the traditionalcomprehension of masculinity and homosexuality, by altering the viewof homosexuality. Homosexuals are mainly viewed as weak character,yet in the reading and film, Jesse is a masculine character. The onlydifference with other masculine males is that he is gay.
Lozano,L. H. (2010 May 10). La Mission and Latino Masculinities.Racialicious.Retrieved from:http://www.racialicious.com/2010/05/10/la-mission-and-latino-masculinities
Solorzano-Thompson,N. (2010 Nov. 4). A Queerid at reading of La Mission (2009) directedby Peter Bratt. TenuredChicana.Retrieved from: http://tenuredchicana.blogspot.com/2010/11/queerid-reading-of-la-mission- 2009.html?m=1