Depiction of Latinos in 20th Century Film Essay

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Depiction of Latinos in 20th Century Film
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Over the course of this past century, the depictions of assimilated Latino characters has improved a great deal. Early portrayals of Latino assimilation generally proved to be a montage of unrealistic caricatures which seemed to convey the filmmaker's creativity more so than true representations. This formed the manner in which the American people at large viewed not just Latino characters attempting to assimilate, but also those who were not. As Cine-Aztlan puts it, film "manipulates the human psychology, sociology, religion, and morality of the people, in a word the ideological super-structure of modern capitalist society" (pg.275, Chicanos and Film). As the years
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He allows his lover to go back to her ex-husband and decides to go fight in the remainder of the war. Essentially he is choosing his duty to the country over his commitment to his relationship with his girl. This clearly illustrates what may have been considered as one of the differences between two male cultures. The Latin Lover Julio was smooth enough to get the girl and stay with her despite the war, while the Americanized Julio regretfully left his girl behind and went to battle. The Latin Lover stereotype was perhaps used in this film to convey an unspoken Anglo wish to serve one's woman over one's country (as opposed to the opposite scenario, which was common during the WWI years). The fact remains however, that Julio?s assimilation occurred much too quickly and many would argue that it was unwarranted. The Latino viewer would more than likely reason that one woman is not worth leaving one?s entire culture behind. Valentino?s character was much too willing to assimilate. This fact makes his change difficult to believe.

Thorton Freeland?s 1933 film, entitled Flying Down to Rio, gives us another prime example of an assimilated yet impractical Latina character. Dolores Del Rio played an aristocratic woman who used a combination of her stunning physical beauty along with her seemingly
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