Friday, January 23, 2009

Me? Quiet?!

And the big thing was that Clint seriously immersed himself into the role he played. Not only was he the lead actor of the film, but he directed it as well. And if you know anything about the movie, Clint and his team submerged themselves into the Hmong community.

Despite what most people think, Hmong is not (and never was) a nation or a type of “nationality.” The Hmong people are a collection of 18 different mountain tribes that have lived in China and other southeast Asian countries (such as Laos, Thailand and Vietnam). Many of them migrated to the U.S.* following the Korean and Vietnam War as refugees with the assistance of a few Christian missionary groups. Other families came after assisting the U.S. during these wars. In any case, many might consider the Hmong a “nation-less” culture; much like one can’t pinpoint exactly which part of Latin or South America an Aztec or Mayan person may have come from.

The reason I bring up this bit of history in my post was to further delve into “Gran Torino.” Clint Eastwood’s character, Walter is … for lack of better terms, what Hubby and I would call a “Crappy Pappy.” Meaning, he’s an older man past the prime of his life, who would spend the rest of his days as a crotchety, cantankerous old man. Walter’s the mean old man next door who would yell at you for stepping on his lawn, would say something rude just to get a rise out of a person … would yell out Slow down, kid! to any teenager who drives just a little too fast past his house.

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Apron Strings for Emily is a guest blogger for Bridges.