I’m really glad I had the experience of seeing the movies in this course, because the only Mexican movies that I had seen before the course started were The Three Amigos and Nacho Libre. Other than those, the only movies from Spanish speaking countries that I’ve seen are from Spain, Cuba and Argentina.
I remember thinking a few weeks ago that even though the movies in this course were really different from each other in general, that some of them also had a lot in common with each other (or common themes in some way) and it was hard to write a blog that would sound completely different from a previous blog that I had written. Many of the movies in the second half of the course focused on crossing the border and in the end, they were very similar...Touch of Evil – Mexicans and Americans cross the border into the other country, and both American and Mexicans are the ‘bad guys.’ The Three Amigos- Americans cross the border, and end up saving the day. The Wild Bunch- Americans cross the border and the Mexicans are written to be really stupid and everybody gets killed except for the group that was the most scared of getting killed. Traffic is purely about crossing the border and it’s different in the way that there are more perspectives on many things. In comparison to some of the other border crossing movies, I actually think it’s the most interesting in terms of the layering effect of status, and who has more power. The Wild Bunch had a bit of that going on too, as I wrote in my blog for that movie, but I don’t think it was as meaningful as in Traffic. In the second half of the course, I think that the only movie that didn’t focus on the relationship between Mexico and the US was Que Viva Mexico.
I think that seeing the different border crossing movies were educational if you wanted to focus on learning about different perspectives of border crossings between Mexico and the US because they all pretty much have a different ending and a different ‘bad guy’ and ‘winner’, but in the end, I learned more from the first half of the course because the movies were more contrasting. Aguila o Sol was way different from El Callejon de los Milagros, and even though we compared Aguila o Sol and Los Olvidados in one of our discussions because of the orphan theme, the movies were still contrasting. Batalla en el Cielo was refreshingly different from the other movies. I think that if the course were longer, that seeing the various border crossing movies would have been a good introduction, and then we could have branched off into more movies about the perspective of Mexico from countries other than the US...like are there movies that have Mexico in them from a country in South America? Or Europe? I think that I would like to see those if they exist, especially after taking this course, and also because I hate most Hollywood movies with a passion. It’s worth it to me to order a movie from Spain (like I had to with Batalla en el Cielo because they didn’t have it on Amazon and I didn’t want to look much longer) if I’m going to get something out of it. Like I said, Batalla en el Cielo was different from other movies, and even though it’s not something that I would watch with my friends or family (also since it’s European, I can’t play it on my DVD player anyways), I still really learned from it.