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My Family Essay Sample

The film “My Family” is an American drama which was written by Anna Thomas and Nava Gregory directed by Nava in 1995. The starts of the movie include Jimmy Smits, Esai Morales and Paco (Edward James Olmos). My Family tracks 3 generations of a family (Mexican-American), which migrated to East Los Angeles from Mexico. This family is characterized by cultural conflicts through the three generations, which consequently affect the behaviors of their members.

“My Family” story started with José Sanchez who travels (by foot) to Los Angeles from Mexico, starts a new life with a distant relative, El Californio. By then, Los Angeles was part of Mexico, and El Californio before he dies wants to associate with Mexico as opposed to Los Angeles, hence he instructs that his tombstone should note that when he was born and even as he dies the land of birth and death remains to be Mexico. José married Maria (American citizen) who was later illegally deported by United Sates government to Mexico, but returns two years later through a long arduous trip. El Californio and Maria’s endeavors and conflicts are associable with their cultural background; the desire to be associated with their land (of birth and marriage respectively) determines their conduct.

The 2nd generation is characterized by Chucho’s (Maria’s son) fate. During a dance, after his sisters’ (Irene) wedding, Chucho’s rival (Butch Mejia) becomes a bother to Chucho, leading to a conflict and Chucho accidentally stabs Mejia to death. Chucho became a fugitive and is later shot dead by LAPD before his brother Jimmy. Chucho’s conduct to his death is dominated by cultural conflicts. He was affectionate about his homeland such that even after the incident, he did not run far from home, making it easier for the LAPD to catch-up with him.

The third generation is characterized by assimilation, acculturation, and past family problems. Jimmy after witnessing his brother’s death followed his footsteps and became a fugitive and is later jailed.  Toni, Jimmy’s sister decides to get married to a priest, though she had been a nun. Jimmy married Isabel, Salvadoran refugee, to save her from being deported and eventually he loves her. Isabel became pregnant, but dies after delivering their son; Carlitos causing enraged Jimmy to attack the doctor and burglarize a store causing him to be jailed. Curlitos is raised by Jimmy’s parents. Jimmy does not want to associate with the son but later loves him but the son hates him, but later accepts him. Jimmy’s character draws much from past experiences of witnessing Chucho and Isabel’s deaths.