Analysis Of The Film Fernando Nation

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Riley Crandall 1 April 2014 IHUM – 260 Dr. Esplin Fernandomania: The Mexican-American Dream The film Fernando Nation is a documentary highlighting the Major League baseball Career of Fernando Valenzuela. This movie illustrates a new type of American dream through the eyes of Mexican Americans by showing their historical struggle to be accepted in society, portraying the humble beginnings of Fernando, and highlighting the national fame which he acquired throughout his Major League career. In so doing, Fernando Nation helps viewers to understand the Mexican people’s desire for social equality with others in the United States, as well as what their version of the American dream looked like. In 1979, the Los Angeles Dodgers were on a mission to find a new type of baseball player. Due to a conflict which developed as a result of the construction of the new Dodger stadium, Dodger management was having a difficult time marketing to the ever growing Mexican population in Los Angeles. In an attempt to start a baseball following within the Latino community, Dodger scouts were sent to Mexico to find a player who could garner the attention of Mexican Americans in southern California. Major league scouts had come to watch a shortstop whom they had heard was an excellent fielder and consistent batter. They were quickly distracted from this responsibility however by the performance of the man on the pitcher’s mound. Fernando Valenzuela was a pudgy teenage boy who had grown up on the dusty baseball fields of northwestern Mexico. From a young age, he had dreamed of playing professional baseball and he was about to get his chance. Less than two years later, he became the only player to win the Cy Young award as well as the Rookie of the Year award... ... middle of paper ... ...d States in a very short amount of time. The film gives the impression that Mexican Americans began to embrace him as an example of what their people could do, given the opportunity and resources. Though different, Mexicans were capable of doing everything other Americans could do. When his Mexican heritage was combined with American stardom, a new dream was born; the Mexican-American dream. By showing the historical struggle of Mexican immigrants to be equal members of American society, portraying the humble and unique characteristics of Fernando Valenzuela, and by emphasizing his incredible rise to fame, the film Fernando Nation introduces a new type of American dream. Fernando Valenzuela became the embodiment of the Mexican-American dream to many people. By understanding his story we can understand the hopes and dreams of many Mexican immigrants in America today.
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