Stand and Deliver

Stand and Deliver is one of my favorite films because not only is it based on true events, I can relate to the culture in the film. This particular film was written by a Latino director, Ramon Menendez, in 1988. The plot of the story is based on a Los Angeles high school teacher who successfully inspired his potential drop out students to learn Calculus. What similarities does this film have with what we are learning in class? This particular film delivers the in acceptance of Latino success, racism, and womanhood. The group of students in which the film is focused on is Latino. The students are depicted as “cholos”, drop outs, disrespectful students with the exception of a couple of good students.  Similarly like other races theses students are categorized by society.  When their teacher, Mr. Escalante tells them they will learn Calculus, the students look him like he is crazy as if the task were impossible showing how they have accepted how society sees them.

A particular student who is a “cholo” kid is interested in reading books and reaches out to his teacher because he fears that people might think he is smart. Why? He accepted the stereotype of being a “cholo/gangster” and people of that category are not be caught in the books?

There is a bright female Latino student in the class whose father does not agree with Mr. Escalante that his daughter should be smart and pursue college. The father stated that “she would probably get pregnant and never finish college and that she needed to continue the family business.”  This scene to me has similarity with our womanhood section in our class. Explaining how masculinity has been accepted in society and accepted as norm to belittle the potential success of a woman.  A father laughs at the success of his own daughter, which to me was pitiful.

The last comparison and the strongest one would be when school officials questions Mr. Escalante why he would want his low performance student to take an Advanced Placement Calculus test.  So that THESE students can lose the little dignity they have. That THESE were not the type of student to bounce back from failure. This particular scene to me was racist and again categorized the Latino students as incompetent. The students themselves accepted to believe that they were not competent enough to learn calculus and master the advanced placement test, but in fact they did. The high scores were then investigated by test officials.  Mr. Escalante stated to the test officials, “If it were Beverly Hills High School students scoring the same there would be no investigation.” Perhaps he was right?

Mr. Ecalante made a difference in these student’s lives. A positive influence that changed what society had embedded in these students minds. He taught them that with a little bit of “ganas” anything is possible. I think we need more positive influences like Mr. Escalante in schools and society period.

Image result for stand and deliver all you need is ganas

Stand and Deliver. Pinterest. Np. 13 Apr 2017.



One comment

  1. This is one of my favorite movies! I agree with you! I love how they portray Escalante as a very caring, intelligent hispanic man. It is very difficult to find movies that portray Hispanic men in this manner. They are usually abusive, in gangs, or drug dealers. I also liked how they show some of the students, even some of the smartest ones, wanting to learn and increase their knowledge but at the same time, not give up their “poser” behavior. The student played by Lou Diamond Phillips shows us a great example of this. He asks Mr. Escalante to give him a book to leave at home but that he wouldn’t be caught dead with it in front of his “homies.” Heaven forbid they know he is smart!
    To be truly authentic, we shouldn’t aspire to be what we believe others’ views of us are. We should be who we really are inside!


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