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Mi Vida Loca

analytical Essay
1683 words
1683 words
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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...

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... 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.

In this essay, the author

  • Analyzes how mi vida loca documents the phenomenon of female gangs in the early nineties in los angeles.
  • Analyzes how the basic plot is based around two chicano girls and their childhood lives.
  • Analyzes how anhenica "giggles" is released from a four-year sentence for the crimes of her deceased boyfriend. they discuss the future of sauvecito and agree to sell it.
  • Analyzes how sad girl's sister, alicia, is infatuated with a prisoner named juan temido, who crushes blue eyes' heart by never writing to her again.
  • Analyzes how the movie ends with the females becoming independent and starting their own operations.
  • Analyzes how gender roles are evident in the movie. the boys are young, yet they display manliness to the best of their ability.
  • Explains that manliness, defined by patriarchy, means being or appearing to be in control at all times.
  • Analyzes how ernesto isn't intimate with either girl, and fulfills manly roles of "taking" the girl. his "homies" back him up on this because they have the same values.
  • Analyzes how ernesto has both mousie and sad girl under his control and trust. he reflects the gender role of defining masculinity through controlling women.
  • Explains that men do not attempt to establish control over women because they hate and fear them, rather, they must control them. they can only demonstrate superiority by cheating, stacking the deck, and imposing on women deprivations
  • Analyzes how whisper, who is a better drug dealer than shadow, assumes she can't start her own business because of the role that she sees herself in.
  • Analyzes how the male gangsters agree on selling suavecito without ever consulting the females. this machismo attitude reflects the gender role of the powerful male.
  • Analyzes how big sleepy demonstrates the gender role of a male well. his mate left him for an unknown reason, and he assumes it was his "gansta life."
  • Analyzes how la blue eyes constructs a gender role. she yearns for prince charming, but her prison pen pal is the man of her dreams. el duran is romantic and plays with her feelings.
  • Analyzes how one female gangster admits sleeping with a rival to have access to his car. the "homegirls" disagree and say, "that’s fucked up!" but after thinking about it, they see it as perfectly acceptable behavior.
  • Analyzes how gender roles play a huge role in mi vida loca. as dropouts of high school, they have to survive on the street.
  • Analyzes how giggle's independence and the female gangsters create complicated operations, while little sleepy is shot by one of el duran’s girls.
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