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Chicana and Mexican in Films and TV Shows Essay

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Updated: May 5th, 2021

The films Baby Kake, Machete, and Breaking Bad portray the Chicana/os/Mexicans as lazy, bandits, drug dealers, and irresponsible buffoons. For instance, in the film Breaking Bad, the Chicana/os/Mexicans are reckless criminals who have perfected the trade of selling illegal drugs. In the fourth season, several Mexican drug families feature, and their desire to expand their peddling territories result in bloody confrontations resulting in the death of Gustavo in a revenge mission (“Breaking Bad-Memorable Scenes of Heisenberg (HD)”).

In the film Baby Kake, the Chicana/os/Mexicans are portrayed as lazy and absentee parents. For instance, the absentee husband is a Mexican who cannot take care of his family and is always away (“Harry Gamboa Jr. – Baby Kake”). Lastly, the film Machete portrays Chicana/os/Mexicans as extremely violent drug dealers who operate in gangs. These gangs are headed by lords who rule through fear and blackmail. The main character, Machete, is also a Mexican who uses violence as a contracted killer to attempt to arrest a drug lord on behalf of the Americans (“Machete Kills Official Trailer”).

I feel the portrayals of the Chicana/os/Mexicans as drug dealers, gang members, lazy peasants, and irresponsible adults are subject to stereotypes. For instance, from season one through to season six of Breaking Bad, the Mexicans are either in a gang or are active members of a drug peddling ring. For instance, in the second season of Breaking Bad, Hector takes an active role of a violent and crazy drug dealer who runs a peddling empire with the help of fear (“Breaking Bad-Memorable Scenes of Heisenberg (HD)”).

On the other hand, Machete, who is the main character in the film Machete, operates in a Mexican setting where the use of guns and other crude weapons is the order of the way (“Machete Kills Official Trailer”). Lastly, in the film, Baby Kake, the nearly-always-absent father, is a Mexican who seems to be struggling to love his wife or taking care of the family. The wife is complaining that he is not around and would rather be away than help her raise their 150-pound baby Kake (“Harry Gamboa Jr. – Baby Kake”).

The Chicana/os/Mexicans are valued as persons operating in a vice-filled culture. In the three films, the Chicana/os/Mexicans cultures are characterized by laziness, drug abuse, gang violence, laziness, or dysfunctional families. For instance, in Breaking Bad, the Mexican drug families led by Gustavo have internalized violence to create fear and expand their territories. As a result of violence, their families are dysfunctional, and there is a general mistrust between the business partners.

In contrast, the other races who deal with drugs or violence are portrayed in the film Breaking Bad as outcasts. For instance, the white characters, Jesse and Walt, are outcasts because of their drug dealing activities (“Breaking Bad-Memorable Scenes of Heisenberg (HD)”). The same situation is seen in the Machete film, where Machete has to hack his way through the use of crude weapons in a lawless society as a contracted killer.

Across the borders, Machete’s contractors operate in an American society where there are laws and order (“Machete Kills Official Trailer”). Lastly, in the film Baby Kake, the Chicana/os/Mexicans operate in a culture of peasant laziness and irresponsibility. For instance, the absentee father has to be reminded of his duty, same as the 150-pound baby Kake. However, this family is an outcast in their white neighborhood (“Harry Gamboa Jr. – Baby Kake”).

In my opinion, the viewing of the films Breaking Bad, Machete, and Baby Kake presents a fascinating view of society. The directors use intelligent language and cinematography to communicate different themes with ease while leaving the audience to predict their next move. Watching these films improved my perspective of viewing society and cultural imagination. For instance, in the movie Breaking Bad, the actions of the young school dropout Jesse in teaming up with his teacher Walt to manufacture ‘meth’ is fascinating and a reminder of why I should stay in school and build on my career.

In the three films, laziness, violence, and drug peddling have an unattractive ending. I utilized film-viewing as a method of acquiring broad social, cultural, informational, economics, and English usage knowledge. For instance, in viewing Machete and Breaking Bad, I was able to pick English language phrases and the art of public expression, especially in the character of Walt. Moreover, I was able to learn about different cultures and potential business ideas from the actions of Walt, Machete, and Jesse. However, I am not convinced that Mexican society has embraced violence and the drug culture as portrayed in the films.

Film viewing has affected the way I understand my roles in society. I am expected to be a law a bidding citizen to avoid societal disintegration as a result of practicing different vices. For instance, drug dealing and its usage are portrayed in Machete, Baby Kake, and Breaking Bad films as responsible for family and society degeneration. I view films as entertainment by following the characters and themes displayed and trying to fit them in my situation.

In the end, I find lines and textures that make me laugh or inspire me to think deeper about different themes. The format of the film Baby Kake made it challenging to listen to the audio and watch the video due to the poor quality of production. However, the other two films were evident on my laptop as they are advanced in color balancing and picture clarity.

My appreciation of film viewing in relation to the representation of the Chicana/os/Mexicans has been enhanced by this project in many ways. For instance, I am also convinced that there is a general conspiracy by these filmmakers to portray the Chicana/os/Mexicans as the problem in society. I think that the action of filmmakers to stereotype the Chicana/os/Mexicans is not right and should be changed since these vices are in all societies. It is unfair to portray the Chicana/os/Mexicans as the practitioners of the evils in the community. Moreover, the use of excessively violent pictures and images in films should be toned down to reduce stereotyping.

The three films viewed in this project are more or less similar to other movies that I have viewed throughout my life. All the films have specific themes and messages that are communicated in a creative and proactive manner to capture the attention of the audience. For instance, previously, I have watched films on the same themes of drug abuse and violence, such as The Bandit, The Millers, and The Orchard. However, the Baby Kake film is the shortest film I have ever watched. Moreover, the twists, turn, and provocative themes in the movie Breaking Bad make it the most significant film I have ever watched.

Works Cited

“Breaking Bad-Memorable Scenes of Heisenberg (HD).” YouTube, uploaded by ReserviorBasterds. 2013. Web.

YouTube, uploaded by MOCAtv. 2013. Web.

YouTube, uploaded by Movieclips Trailers. 2013. Web.

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IvyPanda. (2021, May 5). Chicana and Mexican in Films and TV Shows. Retrieved from https://ivypanda.com/essays/chicana-and-mexican-in-films-and-tv-shows/

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"Chicana and Mexican in Films and TV Shows." IvyPanda, 5 May 2021, ivypanda.com/essays/chicana-and-mexican-in-films-and-tv-shows/.

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IvyPanda. "Chicana and Mexican in Films and TV Shows." May 5, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/essays/chicana-and-mexican-in-films-and-tv-shows/.

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IvyPanda. 2021. "Chicana and Mexican in Films and TV Shows." May 5, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/essays/chicana-and-mexican-in-films-and-tv-shows/.

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IvyPanda. (2021) 'Chicana and Mexican in Films and TV Shows'. 5 May.

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