The two movies I chose to watch were “Grand Torino” and “The Karate Kid”. They weren’t my first choice but I am glad I chose them. The two were very powerful movies that depicted various forms of intercultural communication.
In Grand Torino Walt Kawalski is a Polish American and a Korean War veteran who is full of prejudice. Once a neighborhood that consisted of only whites is now racially mixed. Walt isn’t too pleased to say the least about living next door to a family of ethnic Hmong decent. This is a prime example of ethnocentrism on Walt’s behalf. Much of his views on life were shaped around his life in the Korean War and he has developed this attitude that he is more superior than them. Collectivistic culture is displayed during the movie when Thao, Walt’s neighbor, is pressed to join their Hmong gang and is assigned to steal Walt’s Grand Torino. He doesn’t want to at first but he feels he has to be loyal to the Hmong’s. Stereotyping of Hmong’s is also depicted in this film. They are either being portrayed as weak and in need of protection or are criminals. There are no dominant male Hmong figures portrayed in this movie that is why Walt has to show Thao how to be a man and acted as a father figure to both Sue and him. He was there to protect them from the gang.
In the Karate Kid Daniel is an Italian boy that moved from New Jersey to California because his mother got a new job. He felt like he didn’t fit in to the blond hair surfer crowd which is an example of stereotyping on his part. He is assuming that all Californians have blond hair and surf. He encounters some bullies that make his life miserable. Determined to stick up for himself Daniel tries to teach himself karate only to find out the caretaker of his apartment building, Mr. Miyagi, is the grand master of karate. He teaches Daniel that karate and life aren’t all about power and strength but something deep within yourself that shows you who you are. Daniel learns individualism from Mr. Miyagi....
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