Gran Torino: Questions & Answers

We watched the movie Gran Torino today in International English class. In the movie we meet Walt Kowalski and his Hmong neighbours. Walt had issues with his neighbours because of his beliefs. The movie starts of with Walt’s wife dying, and in her funeral we meet the priest. Walt’s wife had asked him to look after Walt, something Walt doesn’t show any interest in. Through out the movie there are several important moments with both the priest and his neighbours. Without spoiling the movie I have to say that the end surprised me.

How would you describe Walt’s relationship with his family? Do you know of anyone that has a similar family relationship?

Walt had a very tense relationship with his family witch made it hard for his sons to reach out to him. His family nearly gave up on having a relationship with him after his wife died. Walt was a very closed person and it was hard to reach out to him, he just wanted to be for him self. Therefor when his sons tried to talk to him he just shut them out. After Walt did this for a long time his sons started to care less, and when Walt needed his sons they weren’t there for him.

I don’t know anyone that has this kind of relationship with their family, at least not at this level. There are of course families that aren’t as close with their parents or siblings. Is those cases they dosen’t kick each other out on their birthdays, but they may not chat as easily around the dinner table.

What does respect mean to Walt? What does respect mean to you?

Walt shows many signs that he thinks that everyone should have respect for each other. He don’t want gifts from his neighbours, and wants everybody to call him Mr. Kowalski. This makes us belive that Walt thinks of respect as something you owe one another. In addition to this because of his racists views, he thinks that his Hmong neighbours should have more respect for him, because he lived in the neighbourhood first.

Respect to me means that you should respect others opinions and respecting that people are different without judging someone.

How would you describe the relationship between Walt and the priest? How does this relationship change during the movie?

In the beginning of the movie he dosent find the priest any helpful and just wants to be left alone. During the movie they get to know each other and they slowly build a relationship. Spoiler: He even goes to a confession towards the end.

After the attack, Walt gets a haircut and shave, gets a new suit and goes to confession. What is the significance of these actions?

When Walt gets a haircut, shaves, gets a new suit and goes to confession, we understand that something is about to happened. Because of the recent event with the attack we understand that it has something to do with some sort of revenge.

Can you think of real life examples of people who have sacrificed themselves for others? What drives these people to make this sort of sacrifice?

There are people constantly sacrificing themselves for other in wars. They fight for their beliefs and thats their motivation.



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