Gran Torino is a 2008 American drama film directed and produced by Clint Eastwood, who also is the main character of this movie. The movie itself is about a racist war veteran living in a conflicted neighbourhood filled with cultural diversity. This multiculturalism is met with a lot of resistance, stereotyping and prejudice by the main character, Walter Kowalski. Through this story, Walter gradually develops compassion for his neighbours, a Hmong family.
At the beginning of the movie, the whole family is reunited for the funeral of Walter’s wife. This is where we get to meet the family of one of Walter’s sons, a disrespectful and ungrateful family. The relationship between Walter and his family is usually tense, and they do not talk together very often, and when they do, there is always someone who ends up annoyed or provoked.
In the first scene, Walter is standing beside the coffin of his wife, and his granddaughter comes up to him dressed in an inappropriate outfit, where we all can see her stomach. Then when she went back to her seat she just sits down and stares at her phone. Then her brother came up to the coffin and said inappropriate things, which was something about testicles. What he said made all the other children laugh, and their parents did not even care. This brings up disappointment and anger against his own family, and he ends up wanting to be left alone. He just does not want to be with disrespectful people like them.
The lack of respect from his family and the youth around him is annoying and frustrating him, and you can easily see that respect is quite important for him. One example is the scene where an old lady’s grocery bag rips open and all her groceries ends up on the ground. As this happens, there are three teenagers walking by, but they choose to just laugh and make fun of her instead of helping her. This whole scene is only aggravating Walter’s anger and annoyment. He demands respect, especially respect from the youth towards the elder. Walter is pretty old-fashioned, and respect for him is, for example, to help someone in need, or to be called by his first name by family and friends, and by his last name by strangers and those who are not his friends.
For someone to gain Walter’s respect they cannot behave like his family, by ignoring him, not helping other people, or by talking or dressing inappropriately. By doing things like that, they are only losing his respect.