Yo Soy Joaquin Analysis

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In addition to contributing to the barrio authenticity through mise-en-scène, murals serve as a counter-discursive visual narrative to underscore the underlying myths or discourses revealed in this analysis, especially issues of bilingualism and biculturalism which are at the core of Chicano identity. As Fregoso (1993) points out in her analysis of
Yo Soy Joaquin, Yo Soy Chicano, and Chicanas, murals have played a key role in both
Mexican and Chicano social and political movements and in film. Therefore, from a multimodal and genre perspective, the depiction of murals in the film is both an intertextual reference to previous films in which murals have figured prominently and a subtext about Mexicanidad and Chicano history reflecting social justice issues.
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Some of the key scenes in the film take place during three important cultural and family celebrations: the father’s birthday, the Mexican
Independence Day party, and Nora’s wedding to Edward. These celebrations bring together various aspects of mise-en-scène that are not usually seen in Hollywood films: the use of diegetic music, food preparation, clothing, and murals that demonstrate the film’s “meticulous attention to the actual cultural and social conditions of Chicano life and emphasis on ‘recuperating Chicano history in Chicano films (Keller, 1994, p. 209).
(Included in this meticulous attention to detail is when one of the workers Nora meets on the bus mentions her daughter’s quinceañera, another typical Mexican celebration.)
Other examples include the father’s birthday party with mariachi music and Mexican
Independence Day celebration where traditional indigenous clothing is worn and tamales are prepared and CS is used, and the wedding at the end in which the diversity of guests reflects the diversity of the barrio, a salsa band, and the mural. The cultural celebrations become the setting in which traditional Mexican foods and music and clothing are

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