Gran Torino Transcultural Analysis

Topics: Hmong people / Pages: 5 (1685 words) / Published: Jul 2nd, 2014
Gran Torino starring Clint Eastwood was about a man’s struggle in adapting to the changes in his environment when confronted by unfamiliar exposure to cultural differences. The film was chosen because it told a story about one’s struggle with traditional practice, cultural diversity, gender roles, and the acceptance of others. In terms of culture, there was an abundance of traditional practices related to the Hmong community. The screenplay was written by Nick Schenk and the movie was filmed in July 2008 (Longwell, T). Gran Torino was directed and produced by Clint Eastwood, who also played the role of the main character known as Walt Kowalski. Walt was an American man and a Korean War veteran who resided in a neighborhood that became inhabited by Hmong families (Gran Torino, 2008). The relationship that Walt had with his own family was disconnected and distant because his sons embraced the modern way of living but Walt was more traditional. Walt was portrayed as a grumpy old man who did not like to socialize with others. All of that changed when Walt became associated with the Hmong children next door, Thao and Sue. Walt saved Thao from being taken by the Hmong gang members and was viewed as a hero by the Hmong families despite the fact that Walt was just trying to keep other people off his lawn. Upon an unexpected invitation by Sue, Walt’s world became intertwined with the Hmong community as he was introduced to various traditional Hmong customs and foods. After a series of events, the Hmong gang returned and injured Thao’s family which prompted Walt to seek redemption from his war past by sacrificing himself for the safety of Thao and Sue. The film portrayed culture clashes between an American and Hmong families while focusing on the struggles that Hmong immigrants endure to survive within their community. The Hmong population was great in Minneapolis, Minnesota and it was the original setting of Gran Torino and also the home town of screenplay


References: Eastwood, C. (Producer & Director). (2008). Gran torino [Motion Picture]. Burbank, CA: Warner Bros. Longwell, T. (2008). Eastwood recognizes Hmong immigrants with new film. Reuters. Retrieved May 27, 2014, from http://www.reuters.com/article/2008/12/09/us-gran-idUSTRE4B81ZC20081209

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