California as Paradise in Film

Geography / April 23, 2015 / No Comments /
Examines the image of California as portrayed in films such as “Grapes of Wrath”, “La Story” and “Boyz N the Hood” which seem to present California as either a paradise or a dystopic nightmare.

“The image of California as a paradise is rightly questioned by Julian Marais. California seems to many outsiders to be a paradise in terms of personal freedom, labor opportunities, and climate. This is an image of California often found in films which present a constantly warm and sunny climate, and beaches populated by healthy, carefree young people. However, there are movies which present a darker and more realistic side of California, which portray problems from crime and social unrest to natural disasters.

Those who believe in the paradise-like image of California flock to the state seeking the “absence of limitation” they see on behavior and opportunity, and the supposed “lack of difficulty” inherent in California living. Yet clearly Californians face many of the same problems found in other parts of the …”


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