The Corner

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See Gran Torino


Go see Gran Torino!  Not only is it a good movie, but it hits the right notes on immigration and assimilation.

The basic storyline is that a crusty old retired Ford assembly-line worker (Clint Eastwood) is unhappy that his neighborhood in Detroit is being taken over by immigrants, especially Hmong. There is friction in particular with his next-door neighbors. Eventually, though, he and they become not only friends but allies against a Hmong gang.

What’s interesting and good is that the movie manages to be sympathetic to the patriotic and xenophobic Eastwood AND to the immigrants (at one point Eastwood says something like, “Christ, I have more in common with these [immigrants] than with my own spoiled children”). And, while Eastwood learns to like their food, he is still insistent on assimilation: The best scenes are when he teaches the Hmong teenage boy how act like an American man. And the boy DOES assimilate, and no one is sorry about it. The Catholic Church comes off pretty well, too.