Social Issues / Film Analysis: Not Without My Daughter

Film Analysis: Not Without My Daughter

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Autor:  anton  07 November 2010
Tags:  Analysis,  Without,  Daughter
Words: 646   |   Pages: 3
Views: 741

The film is about an American family who starts out by vacationing in Iran but ends up living there. The father is Iranian while both the mother and the child are American citizens. When they first landed on Iranian soil, they were greeted with a lot of new things – things that were different from what they have been accustomed to back in America. First, there was a difference in the way they dress. In America, they were very radical – they can wear whatever they want but in Iran, they have to wear Islamic clothes that would cover them from head to foot. Iran was also not that advanced yet and everywhere they go, they can see graffiti on the walls and poorly built buildings. People with guns (machine guns, I think) walking around the streets are also accepted by the citizens. The women were also inferior and they were only supposed to follow whatever their husbands tell them to do. Lastly, the biggest difference that they experienced was the change in religion. In Iran, the family would get up at dawn to pray together and they have the Koran. This became difficult for them because the practices of Christianity are different from these. The only similarity between the two societies was the importance of being with the family, as well as education.

A lot of concepts of culture are shown in the film but these four are the most evident. First is culture shock, which was seen when the family (most especially for the mother and kid) first arrived in Iran. Iranians have the tradition of killing a goat in front of its visitors and the guests then have to step over it. This was the first time that the family had to do it so it came as a complete shock, especially for the little kid. This can also be seen when the mother was “attacked” by a person with a gun when her hair was not covered by the black “bandana”. The next concept is ethnocentrism. This can be seen when the father told the mom that they were going to live in Iran. The mother kept on telling him that she will not stay and that it was not a good place to raise their child. By telling this, the mom was somehow already proclaiming that America is better and more superior than Iran in a lot of different things. The third is acculturation, which was shown when both the mother and daughter were able to communicate and interact with the Iranians after staying in Iran for about a year or so. The mother was also able to shop by herself and the daughter was already able to go to school alone. The fourth concept is counterculture, which was observed on the mother and kid when they were laughing and eating out loud (the Iranians, on the other hand were very reserved). Since they were new to the country, they still did not know the customs and the ways of life of the Iranians so their actions were very different from them.

After watching the movie, I learned that there are a lot of diverse cultures around the world – some are even the opposite of what you have been familiar with – and that it is hard to get used to these cultures. I also discovered that there are some societies that are able to accept you for who you are but there are some that really do not welcome you because you are different from them. Now, I am also able to understand that there are conflicts between people of different societies because we all have distinct beliefs and practices. All in all, it made me realize that each culture is unique and that we should learn to respect and welcome even those that have contrasting beliefs and behaviors from ours.



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