Respect for the Living, the Dead

Updated June 27, 2022

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February 26, 2019 Respect for the Living, the Dead, and the Forgotten The book of life was released on October 17, 2014. It takes place in the center of Mexico and is a family film. It is amazing in many ways. The audio, animation, and storyline make it standout from other films. And if this movie isn’t enough, a more recent release, Coco, is very similar based on the theme and animation but the storyline is a bit different. Then book of life is about the journey of a young man named Manolo. Manolo is torn between honoring his family’s legacy and creating his own. His story is told by “La Muerte” to ‘bad’ kids who grow an interest for the story. Manolo goes on this great adventure that reveals many things about himself and his family, after getting back to his own world he makes the decision to follow his heart and create his own legacy.

This film brought attention and inspired an appreciation for hispanic/mexican culture. The story begins on the day of the dead which is celebrated at grand in hispanic culture. One of the biggest traditions was displayed in this movies, which is to decorate altars with pictures of loved one, flowers, candles, pan de muerto (bread), and usually there is food and water. On this day all loved ones that have passed are honored and remembered by their family and friends. It is believed that the ones who are remembered are able to visit the family and friends who are still living. Even before the Manolo’s story even began to be told, La Muerte mentioned several urban legends that have been passed on for generations. And even though these legend aren’t believed by everyone, hispanic parents would use these stories to scared their children into being obedient.

Throughout the movie you also see a lot decorations that specify the characters’ mexican background. For example, the way each character was dressed involved a lot of traditional mexican clothing. Many generations before Manolo were bull fighters so he was dressed as one and as for joaquin since his father was a war hero he was dressed like his father as a way to remember him. I would argue that this movie didn’t receive the acknowledgement that it should had because the animation did an amazing job displaying how vibrant and heart worming te hispanic/Mexican culture looks and feels. The film also sheds light on the expectations that older generations have on the new generation. Like Manolo’s dad, Carlos, expected his son to continue the family’s legacy which was to be a bullfighter.

As I mentioned before Manolos family had all been bullfighters and his father trained him to be one from a very young age but Manolo learned from Maria that killing animals, in his case bulls, is wrong. Clearly Carlos believed that Manolo would agree to continue the legacy because that’s a way to honor your family but his passion was music and that was what he intended to pursue. At discovering Manolos plans Carlos became angry scolded Manolo for deciding to dishonor the family legacy. In that same way, Maria’s father, General Posada, expected Maria to marry Joaquin for the benefit of the town. Joaquin had already planned to propose to maria and when he did, he revealed that General Posada had already agreed to their marriage without considering how maria felt. The General knew that joaquin would be able to save the town from whatever threat or danger they would encounter. And so the General persuaded his daughter to marry joaquin for the good of the town.

The book of life as well as being refreshing is informative and eye opening because it gave us examples of how family members can subconsciously manipulate us without realizing that they are. It even suggested that an event that a lot of people see as entertainment is actually glorifying animal cruelty. A large part of this film was the afterlife, it demonstrated how hispanics see or cope with the passing of a loved one. Many people think that when a person dies, they are gone forever but that’s not how we see things. In The Book of Life, we can see that when someone dies they are celebrated for who they were in the Land of the Remembered. On the day of the dead they are allowed to visit the land of the living and be around those who remember them. And even though the living can not see them, their love and presence is felt.

Like for example at the beginning when carlos explains to Manolo that even though his mom has passed she is still there with them. Also when manolo is killed and he enters the land of the remembered you can see a parade with individual floats that represent each and every person that has passed. Each float is decorated with objects that represents important things of each person or family. The audio used in this movie helped it achieve the watch-together feel of a family film. Each vocal actor did a great job with the character that they were given. Like for example Manolos grandma had an accent and it perfectly with her because the person that voiced her had an accent and it fit great with the theme of the movie. Another example would Manolos twin cousins, when they speak they use both languages but their voices are the perfect balance between an english and spanish accent. All characters in general even the secondary ones used a specific way of speaking that sounded as if their first language was or is spanish. In conclusion, I feel like the film maker did a great job on explaining how the day of the dead is celebrated in a way kids could understand. It also shows the kids how even though a family member has passed they will always be remembered no matter what. The filmmaker also put in some jokes that only an adult would understand, so it makes it a perfect movie for a family to watch because it will not only make a kid laugh but it will keep them entertained as well as the adult.

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Respect for the Living, the Dead. (2022, Jun 27). Retrieved from https://samploon.com/respect-for-the-living-the-dead/

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