The California Dream of wanting to belong

01 Jun

The film Mi Vida Loca embodies the California dream of wanting to belong to something greater than yourself. This movie portrays latino youth growing up in Echo Park within Los Angeles in a gang fueled environment. Many have not completed their high school education, come from broken homes or have been kicked out of their homes. This film portrays the six basic stereotypes that Berg outlines for latinos in film including; darker skin, not of western european descent, features characters that can be seen as a threat as well as acting in criminal ways and knowing the difference between right and wrong but choosing to ignore it. The characters in the film spend their days trying to find a place that they can fit in, find a family to belong to, and find a home away from home. In this film, the dream of trying to belong in Los Angeles, California leads to gang involvement and violence soon follows. The set design throughout the movie features the “stereotypical habitat of the American Others – dilapidated inner city war zone”. The language, wardrobe, style of shooting and location all seek to tell a story that happens to be from a stereotypical point of view. In this version of gang life in Los Angeles many will lose their lives in the pursuit of the dream of trying to belong.

Works Cited:Berg, Charles Ramirez. Latino Images in Film: Stereotypes, Subversion, Resistance. Austin: University of Texas Press, 2002. Print.
“Mi Vida Loca-Part 2.” 13 February 2008. Youtube. Web. 30 Mar 2011.

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Posted by on June 1, 2011 in Uncategorized


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