Zoot Suit Film Analysis

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“Zoot Suit” and “La Bamba” Film Commentary for Chic 3223 John Colosey 2/15/2012 La Bamba and Zoot Suit are two outstanding movies that take part in two different decades and while racism is portrayed in both movies, it is particularly evident in Zoot Suit. Zoot Suit takes place in the early 1940’s while La Bamba takes place in the late 1950’s. Zoot Suit is a movie that is seen through the eyes of an audience watching a musical inside a theater. Filmed in 1981, it was nominated for a golden globe award for best comedy/musical. The movie sets out to detail some of the factual occurrences related to the Sleepy Lagoon murder case in Los Angeles during the Zoot suit riots. The true story in of itself is about racism so it is not a…show more content…
Henry’s father self identifies as being a Mexican while Henry and the other youth self identify as being Chicanos. It is interesting that since the Chicano movement did not start until after the 1940’s that there was racism within the Mexican community itself. Racism towards Anglos occurs in a scene in the bar where Henry fights with another gang rival. El Pachuco makes the statement “don’t hate raza more than gringo’s”; this statement shows the hatred for Anglos but also speaks to how Mexicans need to stick together. Being that this is a short paper, I will only talk about a few incidents in the courtroom scene as there far too many examples of racism to detail here. A statement is read that ties the Mexicans and their violence to alcohol and inborn characteristics of Aztecs. The defendants must stand up when being talked about as the prosecutor makes the point that the jury cannot tell them apart. Another example of racism was a newspaper being shown with a guilty headline before the verdict is even read. Finally, Henry’s brother is beat and stripped of his clothing which seems to be a metaphor for being stripped of his

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