Alice guy

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  • Publié le : 9 avril 2011
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The movie “Making an American Citizen” by Alice Guy, tells the story of a Russian couple who immigrated to the USA and find their habits completely changed by the American social conventions,especially the husband who bitterly experiences drastic changes in his way of treating his wife. At first, the husband treats his wife like a farm animal (he whipped her like a mule, loaded her with hisluggage, made her do the hardest work, etc.) but he is immediately confronted to the indignation of American Samaritans who reversed the mistreatment toward him and leave him baffled. After severalmisadventures that gradually throw the husband into a worse situation, he finally has his epiphany and starts to treat his wife in a more acceptable way. The movie deals with cultural difference anddomestic violence in a comic way (I thought the movie was a comedy, however, the audience in the early 20th century may have perceived it differently).
Even though the movie seems like a satire againstdomestic violence, I think Alice Guy tried more to illustrate the cultural shock a foreign couple experiences when they immigrate to a country with opposite habits and customs.
* If she wanted tohighlight domestic violence, I think she would have used a more serious way to deal with this sensitive topic (on the other hand, the audience during that time may have not perceived this movie as acomedy).
* Moreover, the USA is depicted as a country where domestic abuse is not tolerated (according to, “wife beating” became illegal in all states only in 1920; this movie wasmade in 1912) so unless Alice Guy was very naïve about the USA, this movie is not about how American people treat their wives better than Russian people.
* If it were really about domesticabuse, why not depicting domestic abuse in the western world instead of illustrating it through a couple that comes from a “barbaric” country.
Therefore, this movie is not really about domestic...
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