Latinx Screens: Film, TV, and Video

Mosquita y Mari and La Güera

Entry Question

What topics from the second half of the semester would you like to engage with for the final project? Do you want to propose a question?

Theory in the Flesh

Poet, playwright, and cultural activist Cherrie Moraga proposes that theory in the flesh means a theory “where the physical realities of our lives- our skin color, the land or concrete we grew up on, our sexual longings- all fuse to create a politic born out of necessity.” Theory in the flesh happens when “we do this bridging by naming ourselves and by telling the stories in our own words.” Moraga explains that it implies the “refusal of the easy explanation to the conditions we live in.”

What are the conditions Mosquita y Mari live in?

Oral/slide Presentations 


Grechka,Inna V

Queme,Mathew K

Rodriguez,Natasha Jalene

Group Discussion

Select ONE of these quotes from Cherríe Moraga’s essay and discuss the parallelism with the personal essay and the socio-economic circumstances portrayed in Mosquita y Mari.

.”I was educated, and wore it with a keen sense of pride and satisfaction, my head propped up with the knowledge, from my mother, that my life would be easier than hers.” (23)

.”And yet, the real story was that my family, too, had been poor (some still are), and farmworkers. My mother can remember this in her blood as if it was yesterday. But this is something she would like to forget (and rightfully), for to her, on a basic economic level, being Chicana means being less.” (23)

. “It was through my mother’s desire to protect her children from poverty and illiteracy that we became “anglocized” the more effectively we could pass in the white world, the better guaranteed our future.” (23)

.”I had no choice but to enter into the life of my mother. I had no choice. I took her life into my heart, but managed to keep a lid on it as long as I feigned being the happy, upwardly mobile heterosexual.” (23)

.”My lesbianism is the avenue through which I have learned the most about silence and oppression… in this country, lesbianism is a poverty- as is being brown, as is being a woman, as is being just plain poor.” (23-4)

.”We women have a similar nightmare, for each of us in some way has been both oppressed and the oppressor. We are afraid to look at how we have failed each other. We are afraid to see how we have taken the values of our oppressor into our hearts and turned them against ourselves and one another.” (27)

2 thoughts on “Mosquita y Mari and La Güera”

  1. In the film, Yolonda’s parents emphasize the importance of good grades and educational opportunities I think due to the fact that the parents migrated from Mexico to find financial stability while also, giving their daughter the highest educational opportunity possible. I feel like this is so common when it comes to Latin families, I can relate to this because my parents did the same thing. In the film, there are a couple of scenes where the parents speak to Yolonda and explain that they didn’t come to this country so she can throw it all away for a boy, thinking she has been hanging out with a boy. In reality she was helping Mari in her studies and forming a bond with her. It is also evident that throughout the film the parents believe that having a higher education level will make a person of higher class. The professor speaks to Yoli about going to college visits since she is a good student in a way implying that when she does go away it will be good for her since she will meet people of her level. Mari also realizes that when she knows Yoli will go away and fears that she will meet new people and forgot about her.

  2. 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 on 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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