Cross cultural relations with film analysis
The movie “Boyz in the Hood” deals with issues of racism and cultural stereotyping. It also deals with issues of personal identification and ambition and the issue of equality in opportunity, regarding schools, money, jobs, and personal safety. The characters in “Boyz in the Hood” represent a diverse group of young African Americans who must find their way through a world of violence, poverty, gangs, drugs, and broken families.
Throughout the movie, the audience is reminded that many of the problems facing the movie’s main characters are not of their choosing or making but are issues and problems which they have been made to deal with simply because of the circumstances of their birth, their skin color, and their socio-economic standing in society. Early on in the film, the audience is able to see Tre, Ricky, and Darin (Doughboy) as fairly typical kids who want to play football and enjoy being with one another.
But Tre has already seen his house broken into, the three friends have passed by crime scenes and an impoverished neighborhood, There doesn’t seem to be anywhere they can go to just be regular boys. Instead, they are made to be a part of crime and suffering from a very early age. The part of the movie that isn’t actually shown, but the audience can imagine as a contrats is neighborhoods were kids can play and have parks and baseball games and not worry about gunfire or police or gangs or drugs.
This vision which is not in the film, of a normal life, is the opposite of what the characters in the film have to deal with and the only difference is their racial origin, being African American. The characters in the movie as they get older seem to want to be a part of this “other” world, the world of whites and even though they remain true to their own cultural identities and participate in the “hood” culture, each of the characters seems to either want or is actively looking for a way out of the “hood. “
Doughboy is sent to prison and looks to be the one who is most likely to become a thug. Still, due to the early scene in the movie where he is beaten up by an older kid who takes Ricky’s football, the audience knows that Doughboy had to get tough in order to survive in the hood. It is almost as though his own acceptance of being a thug in the hood helps protect his brother, Ricky, and Trey from the violence around them in the hood. Later in the story, Doughboy’s “fatherly” personality will start the chain of conflict that results in his brothers’ death and eventually his own.
But until that crises happens, Doughboy is like the father of the other two friends and the audience understands that despite his rough exterior he is really a compassionate person who sees a lot of potential in his brother and wants good things to happen for his friends and family. Because the characters in Boyz in the Hood, the main ones, are good people, the tragedies that happen to them are viewed as not being of their making. Tre is stopped by an African American police officer who shoves his gun in his face and threatens to kill him simply because he, the police officer, does not like African Americans.
Even though this is a short scene, it is a very important scene. It shows how an African American (the police officer) can be so alienated from their own race, and so hateful toward them that they actually become a part of the oppressive system which causes African Americans to suffer in poverty and be thought of as criminals and dangers to society. In the long run, Tre cannot bring himself to become an avenger for Ricky’s murder. This is a demonstration that not all African Americans are alike, they are not prone to violence or revenge or gangs or shooting their enemies.
Tre decides his life is more important than revenge. When he does so, he is both embracing his culture and refusing the more negative aspects of it. He is an African American who wants to improve his life and his family and his neighborhood and not become a thug like Doughboy even if he understands the reasons for Doughboy’s actions. In each case, with the main characters of “Boyz in the Hood” their actions and options seem to be somehow influenced by the “white world” that they never really see.
they aspire to become a part of that society and make good of their lives. They long for another life, but their life is filled with gunfire, helicopters, thugs, prostitutes, drugs, and violence. The reason they have been placed in such terrible circumstances are based in racism. The backdrop to the story is that white money-makers want to bring the property values in the Hood down as low as possible so they can but cheap real-estate; whites sell guns and liquor and drugs to the people in the Hood, but they would never set foot in the place themselves.
There is no real sense of justice in “Boyz in the Hood” the only thing which comes close is when Doughboy does kill the gang-bangers who killed Ricky. But even this is sad because it is not true justice but vigilantism and everyone knows Doughboy will be killed himself, eventually. The message is: no-one in official capacity care bout what happens to the people in the hood. In order to survive, they must often “lower” themselves, despite their best efforts, to the level of stereotype which has been used against them in a racially motivated way in the first place.