Intercultural Film Analysis

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Intercultural Film Analysis: Gran Torino The film, Gran Torino, is a great study on the different aspects of interpersonal and intercultural communication. In this paper, it is my goal to highlight a couple different examples of the following aspects: relationships, perception, nonverbal communication, language, listening, and communication competence. As far as relationships go, Walt Kowalski, is not an easy guy to get along with. The film starts out at the funeral of his wife, and you get the sense early on that he does not relate well to his sons and their families just by the way he looks at them and talks to them. In one scene, later in the film, his eldest son and his wife visit Walt for his birthday. They were talking to him about what he is going to do with the house and hinting to him that he should think about moving in to a retirement community. You can see him getting visibly upset, and the next scene shows them being rushed out of the house with his eldest son saying, “I can’t believe he’s kicking us out on his birthday.” To me, this shows that Walt is in a stage of relational de-escalation with his family. It seems that they are in the stagnating stage of Knapp's Model of Relational De-Escalation. In the stagnating stage, “nonverbal communication can be cold, distant, and awkward.”(Cropley, pg. 230) The nonverbal communication that Walt displayed toward his family, especially, his grand-daughter at the funeral was definitely cold, distant and awkward. It is not hard to see that there is definitely some stagnation going on with Walt and his family. His relationship with the Hmong boy next door, Thao has some very interesting dynamics, and it is fun to watch their relationship go from negative to positive by the end of the film. In the beginning of the film, Thao tries to steal Walt’s 1972 Gran Torino as an initiation into his cousin’s
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