Racial Differences in the Movie Gran Torino

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Elisa Giardina ENG-101 Paper 6 Final May 9, 2012 Gran Torino: Does It Depict a Social Issue on Race? By evaluating the movie Gran Torino on whether it depicts a social issue on race. I would have to say no. I do not think that it shows us the realistic side to a racial issue. Clint Eastwood, who directed the film and stared in it as Walt Kowalski, was more going for the vigilante justice, which is like most of his movies. I do not think that it handled it in any realistic type of way. Walt seemed to more of a grumpy old man who hated everyone. He even hated his own kids. Gran Torino was more of a movie that focused on sentimental values and emotional manipulation to do justice to the racial issue. Steve Persall could not have said it better “Clint Eastwood’s character, Korean war veteran Walt Kowalski, is a bigoted widower, one of the last white residents of Detroit neighborhood that becomes more ethnic with each moving van. His sons would prefer Walt to move to assisted living facility, the local priest would rather him in church. Walt snarls at everyone, a grumpy, dirty old Harry ready to pop” (par. 3) Walt hates everyone; he really is not a complete racist, because he just hates everyone. So yes, the movie plays around with the racial thing but it becomes more a movie that deals with vigilant justice. Walt demonstrates that he can eventually get along with the Hmong neighbors. At one point in the movie, he even says, “I get along more with theses gooks than I do my own family” (Gran Torino). To society that would seem like it was all about a racial issue it more seems like Walt is just a grumpy old man looking for someone to understand his values in life. Eventually Walt even takes on father-like type of role for Thao. If this movie was all about Walt being a complete racist, I do not believe that he would be getting along with his

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