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A Better Life (Movie study guide)
Terms in this set (20)
What is the father's name?
What is the son's name?
Which is the setting for this film?
L.A., approximately present day.
Where is the mother/wife?
She abandoned her husband and son.
Where does the father get the money for the truck?
He borrows it from his sister.
The truck is a symbol of ...
freedom and the American Dream.
What are some decisions Luis is facing in the film?
The importance of education, relationship with his father, to improve his attitude or not, to join a gang or not.
What letters were written on the receipt they found on Santiago?
Why did Santiago steal the truck?
He sold it to get money to send back home to his family in El Salvador.
What is the significance of the boy watching MTV cribs at the beginning of the film?
It shows a type of lifestyle nearly opposite from his, the kind he'd like to have, but seems fairly difficult for him to attain.
What does "la migra" mean?
Immigration or INS
Why did Luis get suspended from school?
From who did Carlos buy the truck?
What was the schoolyard fight over?
Yesca, money, and the boy flirting with Luis' girlfriend
What did we call the system whereby unemployed people can hang out and see if anybody wants to hire them for the day?
The Labor-Ready concept, or Labor Exchange
Which of these best describes the ending of the film?
Carlos and some others are in the desert facing the bright sun on the America side of the border and Carlos says, "Let's go home."
When undocumented immigrants (sin papeles/illegal immigrants) come to the U.S. to have a baby so that they can stay here with it, that baby is referred to by some as __________________.
Why did the character of the truck thief have to be old Santiago instead of some young punk?
As-is, the character is sympathetic. He is old, has probably been through a lot, and is stealing to give the money to family, probably. A young punk would not get any sympathy from the viewers because he would have more ability to work for what he wanted.
Toward the end of the film, we learn that part of the reason Carlos sister is willing to take a risk to help is because _______________________.
He helped her when they first came to the U.S.
What's the significance of all the different scenes Carlos observes out of his passenger side window on the way home from work?
He sees the world passing him by and he doesn't have a lot of control over it as an undocumented immigrant. The first scenes are of lovely, idyllic neighborhoods where people are taking part in leisurely activities. The scenes quickly progress downward from there. He sees troubled neighborhoods and people fighting. It goes from where he'd like to be (his dreams) to where he is (his reality). It serves to contrast their American Dream with their American Reality.
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