Belonging Speech/Essay on movie My Big Fat Greek Wedding

Essay by sasha456High School, 11th gradeB, October 2014

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Belonging Essay/Speech

HSC English Speech

Belonging… Belonging… Belonging.

It is the thing that enables us to radiate our true identity and let our light shine. Sometimes it is through cultural acceptance that we are offered this safe haven; the sense of belonging…But, what if it is this culture that barricades and imprisons us? A perfect display of such themes and ideas of belonging are portrayed in the film My Big Fat Greek Wedding, directed by Joel Zwick. Why should this movie be included in an anthology of texts called In Search of belonging? I say, WHY NOT? … WHAT DOESN'T THIS MOVIE HAVE? It belongs in that compilation.

The film revolves around Toula, a 30yr-old Greek woman who caught in the midst of two cultures; American and Greek. This is shown through various developing shots of the American city while there is non-diegetic Greek music playing in the background juxtaposing the two cultures.

Feelings of alienation and ostracism are clearly portrayed in film, where the scene shows a young Toula sitting alone at school while the other American girls are all sitting together. A high camera angle is used to illustrate Toula's self-esteem at this point, and a long shot is used to display the distance between her and a typical American schoolgirl. No matter how much she desires it, that sense of belonging does not encompass her due to her Greek heritage. All Toula seeks is emancipation from her Greek background, so she may finally belong with the American girls.

Even within her family Toula feels like an outcast and this is portrayed in her clothes. Toula wears dull and pale colours which reflect her personality; she is very 2-Dimensional and is oppressed by her family/background, whereas the rest of her family wears bright, vibrant colours reflecting their...