In America: Movie Analysis

Free «In America: Movie Analysis» Essay Sample

There are many movies which are able to touch people’s hearts as well as speak about many important issues at the same time. An example can be seen with a movie called In America directed by Jim Sheridan. The movie tells a story of a family of immigrants struggling to begin a new life in the United States, and the hardships they have to deal with on their way to happiness.

The film depicts Sullivan family: a father who is unable to get a good job as an actor and has to work as a cab driver, a mother who has to work in an ice cream parlor and their daughters. The parents struggle financially and also have many psychological tensions because of economic state and the grief over the death of their son. The girls befriend a neighboring black man who is dying of AIDS. The mother is pregnant, and when the family meets a critical point of needing medical help and paying a lot of money for it, they realize that their neighbor has paid for them before he had died of AIDS.

The movie depicts many issues which were discussed in class. Firstly, it focuses on immigrant experience, like the struggles and sufferings people experience in a new place trying to fit it and find decent jobs. It also focuses on problems people have while living in a country illegally because they cannot use many services which legal residents or citizens have and can use. Another theme is that people are unable to achieve their goals as they think they will after immigrating.


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The movie also focuses on the theme of American dream. The family immigrates into the United States because they think it is a country where dreams come true. People come to America because they think that everything will be better there, and there will be a new beginning for them. People often feel the urge to assimilate with the rest of Americans in order to fit in and fully engage in the American dream. Nevertheless, American dream does not exist what can be seen with the movie’s example depicting the struggles and bumps on the way toward a comfortable life.

The movie also focuses on themes of gender roles and racial differences. The father tries to be the one providing his family with everything needed because he thinks it is the duty of a man. Nevertheless, his failure to do so shows that modern world is changing, and men can no longer do everything because women are just as involved and active in social and family duties as men are because they all have jobs. Racial differences and prejudices are shown when the father is reluctant to accept the neighbor as a friend. Nevertheless, the movie shows that racial differences are exaggerated, and prejudices that people may have toward those of different races have no sense because they are based on stereotypes and ignorance.

Hence, the movie focuses on many important themes which are relevant for society nowadays. The film shows the immigrant life as it is. America has always been regarded as a country of immigrants who built it thanks to their efforts. Nevertheless, at the present moment, many people do not understand what it is like to come to a country nowadays, and how difficult it may be for immigrants who are seeking a non-existent American dream. Thus, the movie allows people to look from a different perspective at the cost of the American life, social expectations, gender roles and racial issues which are still important for the country. The movie does a good job developing these themes and making people think and analyze them critically.