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Mississippi Masala - Film Analysis Paper Assignment
Question: A film analysis paper on this movie - Mississippi Masala.
Write a paper about communication, race, cultural issues in this movie. You will analyze intercultural communication within a film. How the cultures are portrayed?
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Mississippi Masala (Nair, 1991) is the movie with central focus on intercultural interactions as per the story lines. The movie depicted three different cultures as part of the movie theme (Amri, 2018). The movie is about an Indian Family and their stay and exile from Uganda as per the Idi Amin enacted policies and subsequent life in the Deep South. In this context, three different cultures their infusions and reactions from the family makes up the central theme of the movie. The key focus in the report is about communication, race and cultural issues as depicted in the movie. The movie central romance is between African Americans and Indian Americans. It is an interracial romance on screen. Mira Nair, meritoriously sculpted the main characters of the movie, Jay, Kinnu, Mina and Demetrius. The following part of the discussion focussed on the movie and provided with more detailing about communication, race and cultural issues.
Right from the inception, the movie depicted race as a socio-political discursive construction (Sharma and Workneh, 2018). In Uganda though the family is a third generation Indians in Kampala, their identity is not honoured and their evidential racial discrimination shown by the dictator and ordered them to move out of the country, confiscating their properties. This socio-political discursive construction created a highly negative tolerance for racial diversity for Jay in general and towards blacks in particular. In the later part of the movie, the play communicates how Jay becomes reluctant to accept the romance of Minny with a local Black (Demetrius). Similar aversion and hatred towards blacks is communicated by the outrage exhibited by Jay when Indian community spotted Mina with Demetrius in Biloxi. Aversion of Jay towards blacks and Demetrius confrontation back with Mina's father is seen in the verbal communication in the scene of the hotel, when Demetrius wanted to see Mina. Some of the words communicated like Questioning Demetrius, why they want to look down blacks as door mats and feel themselves like White and requesting Jay to accept the romance communicates very clearly the racial differences existing between the whites and the blacks as well in the current scenario, between Indian Family in Diaspora and Demetrius. There are still scenes, where the body communication and verbal communication of the black families does not seems like accepting Mina into their group. However one thing that is independent of racial differences is the romance between Demetrius and Mina, their style of communication and an interaction does not look to contain any differences. However this may be due to the times, the Mina spent with the family which is already a third generation in Africa and hence there seems no much difference in communication styles, languages and no problems in communication between the Africo-Americans and Indian Americans from Africa.
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Race of course is the central issue of the movie. Racial hatredness and atrocity is seen right from the early parts of the movie in the form of the policies enacted by Idi Amin with malicious intentions of confiscating the properties of thousands of Indians living in Uganda. This created hatredness towards the blacks in Jay and their fellow Indians in United States. Further there is indirect depiction of the racial suppression being experienced by blacks due to whites in United States. Demetrius shown his frustration by saying why you people are looking down us as door mats? However still the racial segregation seen in the movie is very straight and with very clear evidence of the causes. It is more a socio-political causes shown as reasons for racial differences (Bernardi and Green,2017).
From cultural perspective, the movie has not shown any specific differentiation due to norms, values or due to any customs. There is no emphasis given to the cultural differences. This might be due to the fact that both the key characters in the movie already left their birth country a long time back and are settled in a new location (Kampala and later in Mississippi) and hence the cultural infusion has evolved already and it has no much focus on the cultural differences (Benshoff and Griffin,2011). However when it comes to the love and affairs, Mina family is shown still as traditional, though in Mississippi. Though the reasons for hatredness towards blacks can be understood, Jay family is traditional as they don't want Mina to marry some else than extended community of Indian Exiles in America. Blacks also are at the outset culturally friendly and accepted Mina into their community at the outset, however later, when the Washington's Rug company is boycotted, they also have shown anger towards the girl.
In any case, most of the characters shown in the movie are comfortable with their own race and cultures and does not show any curiosity in other races and the cultures. It is the core culture at the middle of their hearts; they are conservative and have no curiosity for others. However the movie is a big change of the paradigm of those times and is a good piece of first generation movies on interracial issues.
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