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The film “From Prada to Nada” portrays the issue of inequality in the American film industry. Different actors play various roles in this movie. According to many Latino artists, the roles availed to members of their culture are stereotypical. Many Film Directors have always failed to select the right actors for every targeted role. This strategy has made it impossible for such actors to achieve their goals in life. This paper examines the stereotypical nature of the roles given to Mexican actors.
Chicano and American Film Industry
Individuals from Mexico or non-Latinos usually play the role of Latino characters in various films (Schweinitz 48). This development is notable in the film “From Prada to Nada.” To begin with, the film explains how more Latinos play different roles in the film industry. However, the most disappointing fact is that most of these Latinos play various stereotypical roles in the film.
For instance, Mary and Nora play vital roles that give the film a new meaning. These two characters live in East L. A. with their family members. They eventually find it impossible to achieve their goals in this community. These characters eventually find themselves in poverty (From Prada to Nada). The existence of discrimination has made it impossible for many Latinos and Mexican-Americans to achieve their goals.
This film also shows how different immigrants have distanced themselves from their cultural beliefs and lifestyles. For example, many Latino characters want to achieve their goals without associating with relatives. The majority of the “neighborhoods portrayed in the film are defined by crime, enmity, and fear” (Schweinitz 52). The supporting characters in the film portray the challenges affecting Latino society (From Prada to Nada). Some Latinos also join various gangs or engage in unacceptable practices. These Latinos have failed to realize their goals due to such problems. The portrayal of non-Latinos in the film also demoralizes every adorable Mexican actor.
Stereotyping remains a critical problem in every Mexican-American film. Many actors from non-targeted cultures play the role of Mexican characters. The presentation of Camilla Belle as Nora Dominguez supports this fact. The film has several stereotypical aspects that make it unprofessional. For example, it treats Latinos as weak and inferior. Such Latinos do not get any meaningful or positive roles in the film. The film offers a negative portrayal of materialism. It is, therefore, agree that the film fails to promote the best ethical standards” (Schweinitz 64).
The video clips of Dolores del Rio, Anthony Quinn, Edward James Olmos, and Cantinflas also contribute a lot to these stereotypes. These actors are not part of the Latino community, thus forcing new individuals “to play different roles that should have been availed to various Chicano actors” (Schweinitz 192). This approach ridicules every Mexican who can play such roles in a better manner. The issues mentioned above explains why every character should deal with the issues affecting many Mexican-Americans in the country (From Prada to Nada). This situation explains how better ideas and strategies can address the issue of discrimination.
In conclusion, the roles given to different Mexican actors are unacceptable in society. This approach “explores the positions held by different Latinos in every American society” (Schweinitz 104). A similar argument is notable in the roles given to different non-Latinos in the film “From Prada to Nada.” Stereotyping occurs when non-Latinos play various Mexican roles. The above strategy damages the entire Latino culture.
From Prada to Nada. Ex. Prod. Gary Gilbert. New York, NY.: Pantelion Films. 2011. DVD.
Schweinitz, Jorg. Film and Stereotype: A Challenge for Cinema and Theory. New York, NY: Columbia University Press, 2013. Print.