Você está na página 1de 7

Craig Kuepper

American Wrestler

Craig Kuepper
Craig Kuepper

Summary

American wrestler is a movie about Ali jahani who came as a refugee from Iran during

the Iran hostage crisis. Tensions were high between Iranians and then United States, so there

was a lot if hatred towards Iranians. Ali goes to live with his uncle who is, at first, apathetic

towards him. At school Ali is bullied and tries to join different sports teams but gets rejected by

all of them besides the wrestling team. The coach believes in Ali and tries to help him. When

Ali's uncle learns that he joined the wrestling team, his uncle starts coaching him. As Ali starts to

win competitions, the school asks his uncle to help coach. As Ali keeps winning he starts to

Change the perspectives of his peers and the townspeople.

Movie trailer:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U7afJfqK15o
Craig Kuepper

The movie that I chose to watch was “American Wrestler.” This movie shows a great deal about

how a society deals with prejudice. Prejudice has been a major issue all throughout American history

and this movie portrays the issues very well. American Wrestler shows how prejudice plagues society.

Generalizing a group of people or culture because you’re afraid is dangerous. Extinguishing these

prejudices comes only through understanding and respect. As influential role models change the

perspective of a growing generation, everyone benefits from the growth. This growth provides the

opportunities that everyone deserves. Opportunity to make something of yourself is the essence of the

American dream.

The movie takes place during the Iranian hostage crisis. During the crisis 48 people were held

hostage during one of the longest hostage situations ever recorded. This created high tensions between

the American population and the people from Iran. When Ali comes as a refugee from Iran he runs into

some serious prejudices that impact him greatly. Even when Ali starts to win some of the competitions

in the beginning of the movie, he is met with anger and ridicule. A lot of prejudices like the one Ali is

facing during this time period stem from fear. A similar fear appeared during World War II when they

had the internment camps for people of Japanese descent.

Fear of a country or group of people can lead to generalizations which form into prejudices that

are very destructive. This prejudice instills into further generations as it is taught to children at a young

age. In the movie this is seen when kids that are in the school already have this prejudice engrained to

the point where they bully Ali heavily. Children as everyone knows are very impressionable. As children

form their perspectives they become engrained in their thinking and it can be hard to adjust. In the

article by Advances in Child Development and Behavior, they state: “Changes in logical reasoning skills

are likely to shape children’s thinking about, and behavior toward, social groups… We also believe that

children’s developing classification abilities are particularly important for the stereotypes.”(Bigler, Liben,

2006) When kids form logical reasoning skills they form opinions and stereotypes towards certain
Craig Kuepper

groups of people. Because kids are so impressionable it is important to teach kids early to not form

negative stereotypes. Throughout the film these kids in school are having to change and adjust their

perspectives towards Ali. Even the girl that has a crush on him during the movie has a hard time getting

over her initial impressions of his ethnicity. The other main thing that changed stereotypes in the movie

was a positive role model.

Role models can shape a great deal of how we see the world. The perspective of the kids at Ali’s

school really started to shift when his uncle(Hafez) became the assistant wrestling coach. At first the kids

thought that he was weird and they didn’t trust him. As he teaches them to win and gives them more

advanced moves in wresting they start to see he is a normal person. This is when the wrestling team

starts to shift in perspective. In a study done by the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, they

tested how role models affect the decisions of the people they effect. They found two kinds of role

models: one was a positive role model in which the subject tried to emulate the behaviors of the

mentor, the other was a negative role model where the subject wanted to avoid the behavior of the

mentor. The results are shown in this graph:


Craig Kuepper

(Christian, 2002)

In this graphic it shows that the motivation of a subject was greatly influenced when interacting

with a mentor whether negative or positive. Having these positive people as role models in society

greatly influence how we behave and can remold stereotypes. Of all the role models in the movie the

greatest to me is the main coach who is Caucasian. He was the first one to give Ali and his uncle a

chance. The other people in the town always looked down on their family and anyone of Iranian

descent. All the other coaches at the school rejected Ali because they didn’t want to deal with the

backlash. Only after constant persistence was Ali allowed on the wrestling team. Things only started to

change in the movie when coach Plyler gave them a chance to show who they truly were.

The most influential aspect in the movie “American Wrestler” is the title itself. When first

looking at the name a couple things come to mind about what the movie could be about including:

someone winning a championship wrestling match, an American wrestling in another country, an

American wrestling with life, but an immigrant gaining respect through wrestling was the last thing that I
Craig Kuepper

expected. Rising up to your potential and gaining the respect of peers is critical towards the American

dream. The worth of someone if far greater than the stereotypes that are only surface level or

completely false. John D. Rockefeller said: “I believe in the dignity of labor, whether with head or hand;

that the world owes no man a living but that it owes every man an opportunity to make a

living.”(BrainyQuote) Everyone no matter who they are deserves a chance to prove themselves and have

the opportunity to attempt their dream. This was the greatest aspect of the entire movie.

Overall this movie was very inspiring and provided a fresh perspective. This movie made me

want to be more tolerant with the people around me. Extinguishing stereotypes that are formed from a

young age only comes through persistence. As people are stood up for and given a chance, we make

progress. For those who are a mentor or role model, they hold a great responsibility towards educating

the people around them. This education is extremely important for those that are parents. Throughout

this class it has made me more aware of the media that I am being shown and helps me analyze it

better. I hope to pass that on to the people around me. I also hope to pass this vigilance on when I have

kids in the future. Lastly giving everyone a chance is very important and a huge purpose of the American

dream.
Craig Kuepper

Works Cited

Bigler, Rebecca; Liben, Lynn. “A Developmental Intergroup Theory of Social Stereotypes and

Prejudice” Advances in Child Development and Behavior, February 2006.

Jordan, Christian. “Motivation by Positive or Negative Role Models: Regulatory Focus

Determines Who Will Best Inspire Us” Journal Of Personality And Social Psychology, November 2002.

Rockefeller, John. “John D. Rockefeller Quotes” BrainyQuote. 2001-2019.

https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/john_d_rockefeller_147466