Anna and I became members at the local nonprofit independent cinema. We’ve enjoyed the two films we’ve seen so far: The Farewell and Blinded by the Light.
The latter filled me with happy memories of my late friend Mike Plummer, who was the kind of Springsteen evangelist that the movie totally gets. I walked out of the cinema missing him a lot and wishing he had lived to see the film.
Both The Farewell and Blinded by the Light are part of a very interesting emerging filmography of second-generation stories about the internal conflicts and alienation felt by the children of immigrants. Many of these stories focus on the gains and losses of assimilation. It’s not lost on me that my inability to speak Spanish has severed my most important cultural tie to my heritage. I grimace a bit whenever I check “Hispanic” on those ethnicity questions on applications, as if it’s something claimed but not earned. My children probably won’t think twice when passing it over.
That’s not necessarily a bad thing – it’s natural that things change – but it does represent values and culture lost (or scuttled) between generations, and that’s not insignificant.
And I think that’s why there will continue to be so many stories about the push and pull of second-generation life. These questions probably aren’t answerable, but we’ll be damned if we don’t keep discussing them.
I posted the above on Facebook a few days ago but soon after remembered I have a blog of my own and Zuckerberg doesn’t need to own my musings. Maybe I’ll start posting again with more frequency. Maybe I’ll look back on this post months from now and smile wryly at what a silly thing it was to think.