The movie Gran Torino from 2008, takes up many difficult themes like family, racism, religion, personal relationships, life and death. The main character Walt Kowalski, a retired Korean War veteran who has just lost his wife and his Hmong neighbors. He gets dragged into their life’s and especially the teenage kids Thao and Sue. They live in Detroit where the gangs are in control and the situation turns violent. Will is a lonely man which lives with great regret and seems bitter and prejudice until his encounter with his neighbors.
Walt states that Thao and Sue will never get away from the gangs that are in the neighborhood which I don`t think is completely true. Extreme measures are not likely to be made by the government or police, but Will helps Thao get a job in construction which will better their financial situation and help them get capital and to move to a better street. If the gangs don`t get to violent and they stick to their positivity and good behavior all hope is not lost.
The gangs shoot at Thao and Sue`s house and they get beaten up, and Sue gets raped by the gang that’s harassing them. Thao and Will want to get revenge on the gang. After the attack, Walt gets a haircut and shave, gets a new suit and goes to confession with their local priest. Will`s wife’s last wish was for Will to go to confession, which tells us something of the significance of these actions. Will says he was a fixer when asked what he did for a living. Now he is fixing himself and doing his last chores in life. He is preparing to help Thao and Sue as the last thing he does before he dies.
At the end of the film, Walt bequeaths the car to Thao instead of a family member. In his testament he tells Thao not to temper with the car, which we can see that he doesn’t do in the last scene where he drives down a road in the Gran Torino. This is not unexpected due to the close relationship Will develops with this family, and the weak relationship he has to his own. This scene signifies that Thao has great respect for Will and the car becomes a symbol of their relationship.
Gran Torino is a story of human connection and great sacrifice. It shows how a person can change one’s life and come to terms with inner and outer struggles. It also shows how the last person you were expecting to be good and become important to you, can become exactly that.
On October 31. we on Fagerlia had something called international day. This event is held every year, and this year we got a visit form a woman that had met with UN (United Nations) in the Gaza Strip. After her presentation there was a “human library” where voluntary people spoke of their experiences from being refuges.
The woman who held the presentation have been to the middle east several times and talked about the situation in Israel, West broad and the Gaza Strip. The Gaza Strip is the most crowded place on earth with 1,8million people stacked in an area of 365 km². Nå er det Hamas som sitter med kontroll over Gazastripen. The majority of the inhabitants are refugees from the Arab-Israeli war in 1948 and their descendants. She also informed us that approximately 50present of the Palestinians on the Gaza Strip are under 16 years old.
The Operation Days work this year went to the youth living on the Gaza Strip. The youth here got a minimum of food and education. The area is being bombed by Israel where the Muslims live. She doesn’t recommend traveling to the areas which are in war, but she say`s not to be afraid to take a holiday in the middle east.
We have watched two films in class, the first one; Girl Rising (2013, directed by Richard Robbins) is a movie about girls in developing countries whish face difficulties with the culture or religion of their country. It takes up issues like marrying off girls as young as seven years old to save them from becoming poor. Girls are oppressed and discriminated, raped and are given very few opportunities of making a future for themselves. It is important to face the fact that this is still happening in many parts of the world even though many countries have come far.
We also watched Before the Flood (2016, directed by Fisher Stevens). This movie shows us how global warming has developed since the industrial revolution, how it is today, and what will happen in the future if we don`t change the way we produce and use energy. Today we mostly use nonrenewable energy sources like coal, oil and gas. The temperature is rising, and the world is melting. Its up to us to leave the world in a better state than it was given us. Today we are not doing that.
Both of these movies want people to take action and responsibility for the world and future. I would recommend these movies to everyone, but especially young people. This is because young people are the future. These people are going to decide what is important for the planet and the next generations to come. These movies main goals are to show cultural, political and environment issues we face today. The movies show strong pictures and will make a statement that will embellish you for the better.