Film Review : Gran Torino

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The movie Gran Torino, is an American film directed by Clint Eastwood, who also stars as the main character. The movie was set in Highland Park, Michigan which was a nearby suburb of Detroit. In prior years, Highland Park was populated by white families that had come to the area to work in the Ford car factories, but over time, “the damn chinks” moved into the neighborhood as Walt Kowalski would say. This show was the first American film to show Hmong Americans, which were war refugees that had resettled in the U.S. following the communist takeover of Laos in 1975 (Yuen). The main character, Clint Eastwood is a widowed Korean War veteran who often shows bursts of racism and anger towards people of different race, especially the Asian immigrants in his neighborhood. His neighbor, Thao Vang Lor, a young Hmong teenager becomes a key character in the movie after he gets pressured into stealing Walt’s 1972 Gran Torino in an attempt to be initiated into a Hmong gang in which his cousin is involved with. While attempting to steal the car, Walt catches Thao and is sure to prove a point that he is not going to take any slack from him and or the Hmong gang members.
While the movie progresses, the minority group shown in the movie intensifies and takes on a larger role in the movie. The two stereotypical views portrayed in this movie are the common ones, such as Asians are weak and smart and or the view that Asians drive around in lowered cars and cast themselves as thugs. One scene
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