InAmericais a 2003 movie about a family that moved to the United States’ NewYork City from Canada. This family moved to the United States in anattempt of starting a new life following the death of their son,Frankie. This film and story is told through the eyes Jonny and SarahSullivan’s daughters, Christie and Ariel. The film has depicteddistinct ways that each family member dealt with the death of theyounger son, Frankie. Hence, as they move to the new city to start anew life, they are faced with other new struggles such as they try tomake new friends, survive in the new city as well as establishingtheir own identity and roots in New York (Matelski and Street 13).This discussion on the film presents commentary and concerns of theunderrepresented people in the time it was made.
Thefilm depicts the immigrations’ concerns when they arrive in UnitedStates and how they cope with the new environment (Matelski andStreet 14). During the time the movie was produced, it is clear thatimmigrants were placed the same level with other people in the newcountry. This has been depicted by the Sullivan family who moved to aneighborhood where they were considered equal as the rest. Inaddition, there is an African immigrant who is also a resident in thesame building where the Sullivan family settles known as Mateo.
TheAfrican immigrant has been depicted to be better off than theSullivan family that is still trying to cope with survival andacclimatization (Matelski and Street 15). This fact seemed tofrustrate Johnny further especially when Mateo won a coin in a tablegame that they were sharing. This win indicated that Mateo wouldbecome rich before Johnny Sullivan who was a struggling actor would.In addition, his daughter was using her three wishes during desperatemoments in her family for instance in being able to pay rent.
Inaddition, the film was successful in highlighting the plights of theunderrepresented people in the society. This is through theirstruggles that sought survival in the new land such as gettingsustainable income and learning to cope with new culture. TheSullivan family is typically Irish who are seen to have communicationproblems with other American citizens due to language barrier as wellas incompatibility in culture (Matelski and Street 16). Christieindicated her inability to understand the new language to her fatherwhen she said that “You can hear strange voices coming fromeverywhere” (In America 1). Although they are faced with suchdifficulties, the family knew that they had no other option but toadapt fast and adjust to American life. The two girls are seen havingdifferent perceptions as far as adapting to the new culture wasconcerned. In fact this led to their father inquiring why they wouldwant to become like everybody else.
Thisfilm was ideally trying to communicate the extra struggles thatimmigrants face when they land to United States. In this regard, theSullivan family and their neighbor and friend Mateo were used asimmigrants, who faced difficulties in the United States but cametogether as they needed to work together in order to survive. Poormedical services have been highlighted as a key problem thatconsequently led to Mateo contracting HIV after blood transfusion(Matelski and Street 17). The Sullivan family was caught up with thesame problem when their new born baby was born prematurely and neededblood transfusion.
InAmerica,Jim Sheridan, Dir. DVD, FoxSearchlight Pictures,UnitedKingdom, July16, 2016
MatelskiJ. Marilyn, Street Lynch Nancy. Warand Film in America: Historical and Critical Essays.North Carolina. McFarland & Company Inc, Publishers. 2003. Print