Respect Over Business
One of the most inspiring movies of all time in terms of cinema, The Godfather directed by Francis Ford Coppola, uses a style of cinema that was unheard of until the creation of this movie. Coppola, a master of tone, uses many different forms of cinematography in order to make the audience feel the emotions in which he wants them to feel. Through different forms of cinematography, along with different styles of rhetorical elements in dialogue, Coppola was able to effectively portray the post-colonialism oppression against immigrants while explaining the necessary respect when dealing with the Italian mafia in order to achieve an effective argument in this situation.
When looking at American history, it becomes clear that immigrants came into America in waves and were discriminated against, due to the immense size of these immigration waves. During the early 1800’s, Italy had the largest influx of immigrants coming into America at the time. Because of this, many were discriminated against in terms of jobs, housing, and medical care. To protect themselves from the outside world and create more jobs for their relatives immigrating to America; the Italians came together to form the mafia. As explained by Karen Jaehne, "Coppola's Godfather epic may have had a richer mise en scene and grander ambitions—the depiction of the immigrant, tribal Mafia's evolution into a multinational corporation as a metaphor for the saga of Americanization” (Citron 423). This means that this film was used to show the fact that even though the immigrants were against impossible odds, they used teamwork and loyalty to still strive to the top. This is the “American dream” adopted by many immigrants, but is risky because of the level of illegal activity. The mafia was used for organized crime creating a new market for revenue that did not exist prior because it was illegal activity. In the film, Vito Corleone is the don of the mafia and is portrayed as a man who has morals. At the same time, he will do anything for the good of the mafia itself. He is shown as a man who deserves to be feared and respected through his actions on screen. He does this by explaining how he should be approached and is implied by the extent of his power. Coppola’s style of cinema can be observed through a post-colonialism lens that is seen throughout the duration of the film dealing with oppression of these immigrants.
In the first scene of The Godfather, a man tries to convince Vito Corleone to put a hit out on some men that beat up his daughter when she refused to have sex with them. At first the man explains his story and he describes how he is being taken advantage by the American government because he is an immigrant. This is showing the post-colonialism lens that Coppola is trying to implement in the film because many immigrants felt like they were discriminated against. The explanation the man gives is very sad and appeals to pathos because of how much emotion the man uses. Vito Corleone responds by being very cold and explaining that the man is not his friend, but only comes to him when he needs a favor. He goes onto say that he has priorities over this issue because it is the day of his daughter’s wedding. Vito Corleone explains that the man should have come to him first instead of the police. This shows that he believes the mafia is more powerful and more effective at getting things done compared to the police. The man consistently says he wants justice for the actions done against his daughter, but Vito Corleone is very logical in his responses. He says that his daughter was not killed so it is not justice to kill these men. The man then asks him to make them suffer instead because that is more logical. Vito Corleone states many problems he has with the conversation he is having with the man in many different subtle ways, and eventually the man slowly begins to pick up on them. He is forced to do what he asks,...
Cited: Citron, Marcia J. "Operatic Style and Structure in Coppola 's "Godfather Trilogy"" The Musical Quarterly Autumn 2004: 423. Web.
The Godfather. Dir. Francis F. Coppola. Paramount Pictures, 1971. DVD.
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