This coming-of-age film follows a pair of Chicana teens who develop a profound relationship against the backdrop of Southeast Los Angeles. When straight-A student Yolanda — aka Mosquita decides to help struggling girl Mari with her homework an intense friendship and queer affection evolve between the two.
ASYNCHRONOUS ASSIGNMENT (Deadline 11/23 before the class)
1. Watch the film Mosquita y Mari (Aurora Guerrero, 2012) here, or via Netflix.
2. In the comment section down below answer ONE of the following prompts (2oo-words minimum).
Yolanda (Mosquita) and her parents care a lot about good grades and educational opportunities. Why? Expand on the links the film establishes between socio-economic class and education. Refer to specific scenes and/or elements of the plot.
How the film portraits the increasing attraction and emotional ties of the two young women without relying on dialogues. Refer to specific scenes and/or elements of the plot.
Respectfully interact with ONE of your classmates’ responses. Do you agree with their arguments and interpretations? Do you disagree? What other observations about Mosquita y Mari do you want to bring to the discussion?
17 thoughts on “Asynchronous Blog Post on Mosquita y Mari”
Yolanda cares a lot about her grades because It’s what she feels gives her value and recognition from others, and getting good grades gives her purpose. You can see from the film how happy she gets every time she gets good grades, but as soon as she gets a score lower than her usual ones she seems disappointed and instead of displaying it with the others on the fridge she hides it as if it gives her shame that she could not get a higher score or one worthy/ accepted by her parents. Her parents care a lot about good grades and educational opportunities because they are familiar with the hardships that a person can endure if they don’t have one. They perceive education to be the window of opportunity to get out of poverty and achieve a better future/life. This can be seen in the film when the father is driving back home from school and tells Yolanda how they don’t have to be in Mexico to see poverty, as they have their own blocks there that show just that. He goes on to emphasize how this could all be avoided if only they had an education like Yolanda is getting, and how she should just focus on that and forget about everything else.
I completely agree with your interpretation of the film. I feel that both yolanda and Mari are similar but also different when comparing their similarities. Yolanda cares about her education at school and future as well but Mari does not have the privilege of focusing on school because she has to focus on working and making a living. It can also be noted that the two characters build a bond together and can be interpreted as romance although the film does not explicitly says this. I feel like if they had admitted there feelings, they would both achieve both of their goals. But i feel like this is only the start for them and their is more to the story.
Yolanda’s parents have cultivated in her the quality of hard work, and she demonstrates this by working hard every day to get good grades. Her parents have also instilled in her the fact that education is the key out of poverty, and the poverty around their neighborhood is enough to teach Yolanda the importance of making the most out of education (Acevedo).
In the film Mosquita y Mari, Yolanda and Mari start off as cold neighbors but throughout the story they wind up getting close to each other and forming a strong connection and feelings of affection towards each other. In the scenes with dialogue it becomes obvious how their relationship progresses, but in the scenes without dialogue we can also see and are made to feel how both girls’ feelings grow for the other. There are multiple montages throughout the movie where Yolanda and Mari hang out, study, and further interact as a means of visually seeing them get close emotionally. There were three scenes that stood out to me where there were no dialogues exchanged between the two characters, but their small interactions expressed what they never spoke aloud. The first was the first day Yolanda went over to Mari’s house, and they were in her room where Mari was topless and explaining where she got her necklace from and why it meant something to her. Yolanda was caught staring and they exchanged some stares that indicated the first spark of a connection, whether it was physical or emotional, before being interrupted by Mari’s sister. The second scene was where they were laying on Yolanda’s sofa and ended up taking a nap together, and after waking up they had an intimate moment where we are made to conclude that this indicates a step further in their relationship, where they crossed that boundary of just friends. The last scene of the film where they see each other across the street and don’t immediately greet each other, but soon after turn to each other and smile. This scene tells me that despite any issues they had, either with their families or between themselves, they’ll be there for each other. This scene also is in juxtapose with the first scene of the movie where they walk to school on opposite sides of the road, before getting close and becoming friends.
I like your response and I think this movie is really touching. I think something you might have overlooked was the struggle that the girls had in dealing with their queerness. It is nice to think that all kinds of relationships are allowed to blossom without any friction, but the truth is that most queer relationships are challenged by society. Not to mention Yolanda’s family. It is easy to imagine a world in which this takes place because queer marriage wasnt even legal in the united states until 7 years ago. It is still illegal most places in the world, and in many countries (like russia) it is outright illegal to be queer: punishable by death. The girls have to take considerable risk when starting their relationship, and any small detail might convey the wrong idea or message. I believe there is as much tension as there is pure joy and beauty in their coming together. I do like how you illustrated how they met through the scenes so specifically, however.
Mari’s relationship with Yolanda starts as a cold and distant relationship, but when the two girls get to know each other, they become more connected and develop affection for each other. The film paints a clear picture of the journey of their relationship, from two girls who used to walk to school on opposite sides of the road to girls who end up becoming friends.
I believe that Yolanda and her parents care a lot about grades because they connect having a good education and going to college to future successes. In the film Yolanda’s mother seems to have gone through her own experiences and seeks a better future for her daughter. In one scene, when Yolanda and her mother are dancing, her mother looks in the mirror and her demeanor changes. She scolds Yolanda telling her to stop messing around because she works hard for their family and for her to get a good education. This scene indicates that Yolanda’s mother initially saw a different life path for herself and in that moment, when looking at her reflection, she was disappointed with herself. Hence why she mentioned to Yolanda afterward to focus on school, so that she can pursue a successful job. Additionally, in another scene where Yolanda’s father is reprimanding her in the car for her grades slipping, he drives by a group of people who are in poverty and mentions that poverty is literally just around the corner from their house. The inclusion of this scene in the film suggests that her father wanted to inform Yolanda about where she could potentially end up, if she continued to get bad grades. Therefore, in both of these scenes in the film, they were able to communicate the common idea that with less education it will lead one to be of a lower socio-economic class.
I love your dissection of these two scenes and how you thought to include both the mother and the fathers perspective. As a Latina myself I share a similar experience with my own parents. They always say that It does not matter what language you speak or how good you speak it, a degree is a degree. This phrase probably doesn’t make sense but my mother always tells me how at her job some of the “big guys” as in head of the company have extremely thick accents and as someone with an accent herself she can hardly understand them, nor can many other employees, but they still hold such high positions because of their college degrees, which you can never deny. To many Latino households school/college are the only options for success, and other non traditional methods are discouraged. My parents did not attend college and both of their jobs have communicated to them that they would have otherwise received a raise and have been promoted to a higher position if they had just had a college degree. Now even after 30 years of working at the same companies, my parents make just as much as freshly graduated college students. Given all this I can totally understand why Yolanda’s parents may seem almost harsh at times with how much they emphasize her having good grades, but they just want to make sure her life doesn’t come out like theirs or like those on the street.
I believe how they show a growing attraction between the two main characters is by non verbal communication the way mosquita taking long moments staring at Mari body and or eyes and lips and as well as looking spending time and going out of her way to help Mari succeed in school to better herself shows that yolanda sees more for her than Mari sees in herself which slows the love and friendship to grow. it also a way for Yolanda to escape her everyday life and the role she’s being forced to play. When she’s with Mari she feels more free which allows to be more open with herself. And that freedom to express herself. Allow her to come comfortable with her sexuality
Parents expect so much from their children because they sacrificed their lives, their homes in their native country to immigrate to the land of opportunity. They leave traditions, families, even their native tongue and have to adapt to a new life where they aren’t familiar with the people, the food, the environment, the culture, and the fast past of life in the city. Most parents had to come here illegally because of how time-consuming receiving the visa was in the proper fashion. These parents had to sacrifice so much and when they come to the conclusion that their child isn’t doing as well or being as productive in school I feel like they take that as an insult to all the time and energy that they put themselves through just for it to go to waste. Education is seen as a big opportunity for immigrants because it was an opportunity that they did not have. Most parents had to work at a very young age and with a little amount of money gained that they had was used for food and for bare necessities. Immigrant parents put the pressure of living out their dreams through their children by hoping that they can at least have the success that they always dreamed of.
Yolanda and her parents care a lot about good grades and educational opportunities. We saw examples of this when Yolanda was putting her exams with high grades up on the refrigerator, the overall scores up were high, showing the importance of good grades to Yolanda. In the scene when Yolanda and her parents were on their way back from discussing Yolanda’s decrease in her grades, her parents were empathizing the sacrifice and hard work that they go through for in order for Yolanda to continue her studies and to get a great job in the future to provide for them. Although Yolanda’s grades were slowly declining towards the end of the film, the film captured Yolanda studying, doing her homework, and helping her friend Mari with her grades. The importance of education from both Yolanda and her parents come from the socio-economic class that they are part of because they want to have a better future with less struggles. Yolanda’s parents show the importance of education for her when they were disappointed after meeting with her teacher, and in a scene where Yolanda’s father questioned if she completed her homework. The sacrifices made by her parents such as working hard to barely survive in order for their daughter to have education in the U.S to go to college for a good income job shows the links that the film establishes between socio-economic class and education,
Yolanda and her parents care a lot about good grades due to there believe that an education is there only way to a better future. A future where Yolanda would not have to worry financially or work as hard as they do just to make enough to live a decent life. Like many immigrant parents they feel that their sacrifices have been to achieve their ultimate goal, of their daughter doing what they could not, be a professional in a career that allows her to live a comfortable life with minimal worries. For Yolanda educational opportunities like going to college are a way to escape the pressures and expectations of her family which is also why she is so disappointed in herself when she gets a slightly lower grade than usual, and we see that when she chooses not to hang it on her fridge like she usually does. We also see that she is under pressure in the multiple scenes in which her parents tell her how hard they have worked for her to just throw it away, or when they drove by and area full of homeless people to show her how bad things could be if she doesn’t get an education. They do all this to show Yolanda how lucky she is to have the opportunity to better herself through an education something that isn’t always possible in place like where they’re from, Mexico. Yolanda does see and believe in the opportunities a higher education can provide which is why she is so insistent in helping Mari catch up in school so that Mari can also escape the hardships she faces of living with a single mom and having to help provide for her family at such a young age.
In the film Mosquita y Mari there are many props utilized to give meaning and depth to the plot of the story and the interior thoughts of the characters. One of them being Mari’s bicycle. Throughout the movie Mari is seen riding it alone and sometimes with Yoli on the back. This shows that Mari often feels like she is journeying through life on her own, it is not until she meets Yoli that she feels a sense of companionship. A bike is also a form of transportation, and seeing as Mari is able to go wherever she wants, it shows her independence. She is in control of her own path and she is only able to go on through will power and strength, which are two things needed to peddle a bike. If she stops peddling then she can not continue on in her journey. Towards the end of the film Mari gets off of her bike after selling her body for rent money, and cries. She had stopped pedaling, showing that she did not have enough strength to carry on. It was also a time when she felt most alone after Yoli had seen her kissing another guy, she knew that Yoli had been hurt by her actions. The bicycle was also worn and dull showing the financial status of Mari, always having to make do with what she has.
Yolanda and her parents care a lot about grades and educational opportunities as both parties believe that a good education will lead Yoli on a successful path that will allow her to live a better quality of life for both herself and her parents. It can be seen in a scene from the film how Yoli’s parents explain to her the number of difficulties they have to go through as well as the effort they make with the sole objective of providing all the comforts so that she does not experience the difficulties that life can be for an immigrant family, allowing her to worry only about school. Furthermore, many immigrant parents in their native countries never had the opportunity to enjoy something as fundamental as a good education. Therefore, education becomes essential for many of the children of these families due to the possibilities and facilities that their host country offers them in this regard. In addition, education for many immigrant families is the best way to become full members of society since it allows them to benefit intellectually and socially from the society to which they are integrated.
Yolanda cares about her grades because she knows that that is what will bring her parents happiness and it’s what her parents mainly care about. I think that her parents care a lot about her grades because they’re a way of showing that going to the US for a better life was worth it. High grades can lead to getting into a good college which means that the children of immigrants will have a better future. After the scene where Yolanda and her mom were dancing, she asked her mom about how she and her dad met, but this question caused her mood to change very quickly. Instead she tells Yolanda that she shouldn’t care about that and should instead focus on school. I think that immigrant parents fear that their sacrifices won’t amount to anything if their children aren’t focused on their own future and they’ll feel like it was all for nothing in the end. Many immigrant parents had to work hard to be able to achieve a better life and they don’t want their children to have to deal with the same hardships that they had to deal with which is why they push them to do good in school.
The main reason why Yolanda and her parents care a lot about good grades and educational opportunities is that Yolanda comes from the first and the foremost aging story which seems to have taken a lot of courage. She is of 15 years and her knowledge and characterists seem to be amazing despite her young age. Yolanda is placed in a time, culture, and city where it has advanced in terms of technology. Yolanda seems to be a very determined girl since she gets high grades and she is a devoted girl and also obedient to her parents. Her good behavior is what makes her parents have the best hope in her education because we can also observe that she has a different attraction of seeing something which is new, something different within her first time as compared to the other girls of her age (Findley, 2012). Another reason why there is a great concern about Yolanda’s education is that his parents are legal immigrants who have established their dreams on Yolanda and they have to push the education success in their daughter (Guerero, np). Despite their immigration statuses which seem to create the clashes between the two, we can see that Mari had a desperate need for money which makes her push away Yolanda the need for their daughter to succeed is what makes Yolanda parents separate them.
Yolanda’s parents care a lot about good grades because they want their daughter to have a better life than they had. The parents are making decent money now, but they both grew up poor in Mexico. Towards the end of the movie where they’re driving back home after talking to Yolanda’s teacher, the father comments how it’s hard to forget what it was like living in poverty when it’s right around the corner to remind them. He tells Yolanda that if she lets her grades continue to decline, she could end up struggling like the people they saw on the street. Yolanda’s parents are constantly making sure that Yolanda is staying focused in school so that she goes to a good college in order to get a good job so that she doesn’t struggle the same way they had to. Yolanda understands this as well. In the first half of the film, she’s seen putting up her good grades on the fridge because she’s proud of herself. She is also insistent in helping Mari study because she wants her to do well. Yolanda knows Mari is struggling financially and doesn’t want her to give up on school because she knows Mari can have a better life if she focuses more on school. Mari is seen struggling with her priorities of either getting better grades or making money throughout the film. She does not have the luxury of only being able to focus on school like Yolanda and even contemplates dropping out. Towards the end of the film, Yolanda tells Mari that she’s going to whatever college that accepts them both and later you see how proud Yolanda is after seeing Mari’s excellent grade. Yolanda knows Mari is in a difficult situation but much like her parents, she views education as an opportunity to improve one’s life and sees this as a good way for Mari to take a step in the right direction.
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