A Review of the Movies City of God, Gueros and Wadjda
City of God, Güeros, and Wadjda can be described as the movies of the season. The videos present real-life situations, capturing the attention of their audience and changing their view of the societal norms and practices. Although the movies were written and produced by different people, they nevertheless contain individual physical, social, and cultural aspects that may or may not be the same. In each movie, there is a main character whose decisions and actions are influenced by the environment, societal and cultural beliefs. Therefore, the purpose of the paper is to describe the similarities and differences in the physical, social, and cultural factors in the films that influence the decisions of the main characters.
In Wadjda, the leading actor is Wadjda, rebellious young lady who has her beliefs on how the universe should run. She is affected by three physical factors. First is her desire of own a bicycle. Her environment does not accept a woman to ride a bike. However, as a child, Wadjda has always wanted to ride one. She has seen a beautiful bike a nearby shop and intended to buy it. Her desire causes her to join the school music festival hoping she would win and get the money she needs to by the bicycle. This is a secret she keeps to herself. Secondly, Wadjda is influenced by the school, where she meets people from different backgrounds with different beliefs. She learns about freedom, and she wants to extend the same in her surrounding. Finally, Wadjda does not like the dressing code. Women in her society have to cover their faces and hair. Wadjda, however, does the opposite and leaves her face and hair exposed.
In the City of God, the main character, Alexandre Rodrigues, or Rocket, is influenced by two factors. First, he does not like the dirty city. Rocket was born and raised in the slum. All his life he has witnessed the unhygienic state of his home. When he becomes of age, he decides to join the gang and move out of the dirty slum life. Again, his decisions are affected by the people around him. While growing up, the only ones around him were criminals who were part of gangs. He grows up knowing that there is the only way to go. He later joins a band although he was not good at it.
Finally, the main character in Güeros is influenced by the desire to do things his way for a better life. For instance, when he goes to visit his college brother in New York and finds them living in a small, filthy room with no power, he wonders why they have not yet stricken. According to him, the strike would be the only way to push the administration to ensure students’ welfare is attended to properly.
Although the society prevents girls from befriending boys, Wadjda respects and values friendship and has no problem befriending the boy next door. She believes people from both sexes should be allowed to be friends. Additionally, she listens and watches western music that gives her more exposure to the world, and she learns it is not bad to own a bicycle.
Violence and gangster life influence Rocket, on the other hand. In his society, being part of a gang is the only means of livelihood available. One has to join a group to earn income for the family. This forced Rocket to be part of a gang although he did not like it.
Finally, Güeros is affected by poverty and his will for freedom. He opposes everything that reduces human dignity. He also makes quick and irrational decisions some of which land him in trouble. His mother sends him to New York after she could not tolerate him anymore. There, he mobilized students, and they engage in a strike demanding for better housing conditions.
Wadjda does not like her cultural beliefs. The fact that women have not say in the society annoys her. Her teacher claims she a stubborn girl because she opposes some things she does not like. She also forced to watch her mother suffer in her father’s hands. The girl’s religion also demands that women should not walk without guardians even when they are married. Wadjda opposes this walking alone admiring the city.
Rocket, however, is influenced by the slum life his surrounding is living in. Their culture is that of poverty, and people are forced into criminal acts to make ends meet. Rocket has no choice but to follow suit. He, however, moves out of the slum and finds a good place to stay.
Lastly, Güeros is influenced by political radicalism and the need for social change. He seems to oppose the authority and demands them to perform their duties. Even his mother gets tired of him and sends him to New York. In New York, he becomes one of the ring leaders organizing strikes and demonstrations.
Physical, Social, and Cultural Similarities
Physically, all the movies are set in the modern society. Wadjda can access and watch videos. She has also seen and liked a bicycle and intends to buy it. In the same way, Rocket is born and raised in a slum. Slums are familiar in the main cities where people in the lowest social class live. They are usually dirty, and gangsters are very many. Güeros is also exposed to the town of New York, which is one of the largest cities in the United States. Together with other youths, they engage in strikes to improve the condition of people living in the city.
Socially, freedom fights and violence are common in all the three movies. Wadjda wants to buy the bicycle because it represents her freedom. Rocket joins gang life as he wants a better life that enables him to move out of the dirty life. Güeros also engages people in strikes in the quest for freedom and better living conditions.
Finally, poverty is a cultural phenomenon that drives all the main characters in the films. Wadjda cannot afford the bicycle; and thus, she is forced to join the music competition. Rocket is a gang because his family is poor. They are also living in a slum. Güeros and his brother are also poor. They live in a dirty little room without electricity.
In conclusion, the three movies are the true presentation of the modern societies and the challenges that people experience in their daily lives. They give pictures of how people are forced to make hard decisions as they attempt to make their lives better and easy.
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