A Bronx Tale
Introduction

Maybe A Bronx Tale is a bit like West Side Story. Both films are set in areas of New York where different people struggled to define their own neighborhood by creating 'us versus them' attitudes. An again, both films depict young people caught up in their own emotions and the conflicts Their communities have created.

The movie is set in the 1960s' and is written by Bronx native Chazz Palminteri who also stars as the gangster Sonny. Palminteri attended college in the Bronx in the 1970s' where he wrote the play that the movie is based on.

The 1960s' were not only a time of change for the country, but were for the city too. The construction of highways and housing projects during the 1950s' changed the landscape of many neighborhoods, particularly in the Bronx. However, Little Italy in the Bronx, however small that neighborhood is today, remains almost stuck in time as the areas surrounding it changed. In part, this is the back drop for A Bronx Tale. Not only is the Bronx changing, but so is Calogero, a boy who grows to be a teenager who matures quickly.

A gangster named Sonny lives in Calogero's Bronx neighborhood. A shooting witnessed by Calogero is the starting point of a lasting bond between the gangster and the small boy. Father (bus driver Lorenzo), however, disapproves. Calogero grows up under the wings of both men, torn between his own natural honesty and his fascination with Sonny. C's neighborhood cronies get involved in theft, use of guns, racial fights. When C meets girl, things don't become easier. C's leap to manhood is marked by tragedy, but also by his recognition of the many faces of love

 

Task
 

Please answer the following questions in your journals;

  1. Are neighborhoods in New York defined by race?

  2. Do the schools we attend change the boundaries of neighborhoods?
  3. Do they bring people who would not otherwise meet together?

  4. How does the movie touch on the themes of racism and bigotry?


  5. Ultimately who defines where and how we live? Is it the people like Sonny we fear,
  6. or the people like Lorenzo we love? Which is more deserving of respect?

  7. Is A Bronx Tale a New York story?
  8. Have you come across a similar story while living in New York City?

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Resources
 

Internet Move Database

Amateur review

 

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03/24/03