Mi Vida Loca

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Mi Vida Loca Mi Vida Loca means “my crazy life (as a girl).” The movie documents the phenomenon of female gangs in the early nineties in Los Angeles. It is written and directed by Allison Anders, who grew up in Los Angeles and went to UCLA. She uses personal experiences to help influence her story writing. In Echo Park, a group of young Mexican-Americans show what it means to live in the inner city. The film looks at gang lifestyle from a woman’s point of view to uncover relationships, conflicts, gang loyalty, and identity. The “homegirls” portray their female friendships through their daily lives of survival in Echo Park. It is a rough life with almost every “homegirl” having a baby by the time they are twenty-one and almost every “homeboy” being handicapped, killed, or in jail by the time they reach their early twenties. The girls try to become autonomous from the men in their lives by forming their own female gang. The gang culture of Mi Vida Loca reflects and constructs culturally understood gender roles. The basic plot is based around two Chicano girls and their childhood lives. The movie is split up into three episodes. Maribel “Mousie” and Mona “Sad Girl” were childhood best friends that become enemies over a boy, Ernesto. Sad Girl is the main narrator of the movie. This drug dealer first falls for Mousie, but then gets Sad Girl pregnant also. He spends most of his money on his two babies and his prize possession, Suavecito, his mini-truck. The two young mothers arrange a fight one-on-one for a bloody confrontation. Neither of them gets hurt, but Ernesto is shot by one of his Caucasian clients on the same night. With Ernesto out of both of their lives, they can move on and earn back each other’s friendship. After Ernesto’s death shadow takes over his brother’s drug dealing business with the help of Shadow, a female gangster that was shot with Ernesto. Meanwhile, Anhenica “Giggles” is released from a four-year sentence in prison for the crimes of her deceased boyfriend. As an older “homegirl”, the girls look up to her and ask for guidance. Giggles and the girls discuss the future of Sauvecito and agree selling it. But the men have already decided to enter it in a car show that Ernesto was looking forward to. Giggles has decided on changing her lifestyle to be an independent, working woman. The “homegirls” are disappointed that Giggles wants to pursue... ... middle of paper ... ... the gender role that women can have power over men and get what they want through sex. She is using him for the car, and he is using the car for sex. Gender roles play a huge part in Mi Vida Loca. Growing up, the kids had nowhere else to turn, but to each other. This is a factor in deciding the roles that they will become. As dropouts of high school, they have to survive on the street. For the boys, that means becoming “tough” to gain respect and leadership from other boys. For the girls, it meant finding someone to provide for them. These roles can be broken as shown through Giggles independence and eventually the female gangsters creating their own complicated operations. Giggles friend who took care of her baby demonstrates independence, strength, and intelligence by living on her own and becoming mature. Also, at the end Little Sleepy is shot by one of El Duran’s girls. Her taking the initiative and resorting to murder goes against the female gender role. Works Cited Anders, Allison. Mi Vida Loca. Cineville Inc. 1993. French, Marilyn. “Gender Roles.” One World, Many Cultures. Ed. Stuart Hirschberg. 2nd ed. Boston: Allyn and Bacon, 1995. 143-152.
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