American Cinema Through the Eyes of Mexico: US-Mexican Relations, Soft Power, and American Film
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The purpose of this thesis is to demonstrate the effect that American film, as a form of soft power, has on bilateral relations between Mexico and the United States. Film is a deep representation of a country’s culture and can give insight into the traditions, ideals, and customs of any particular country. By looking at how Mexican society views American life through its film, the potential for more peaceful relations between the U.S. and Mexico can be established through greater cultural understanding and awareness. Mexican reactions and sentiments toward American-made films were analyzed through online research of Mexican commentary on the ten highest grossing American films in Mexico as well as American films that portray Mexico and its people in the 21st century. Mexican people felt and reacted fondly to the United State’s major blockbusters, while American film depictions of Mexican society were more harshly received, particularly for their disingenuous and stereotypical portrayals of Mexican life. This research shows that something as simple as American film can have a profound effect on Mexican attitudes and perceptions of Americans and the United States, which can affect the entire Mexico-U.S. relationship.