One Immigrant’s Thoughts on ‘Brooklyn’ and Western Privilege

Brooklyn movie

From the thousands of immigrant stories that could have been told, that Hollywood chose a heterosexual love story between two white Westerners in the 1950s is telling — that critics and audiences have lauded and lavished it with praise is even more so.

Rewritten History: Affecting in ‘Brooklyn’, Not So Much in ‘Suffragette’


I was surprised at how enjoyable and skillfully made ‘Brooklyn’ is: I cried when everyone else did and gasped when the rest of the audience did too, but in spite of its excellent art direction and affecting performances the film is mostly hokum. New York in the 1950s is a place where no one the main character hangs out with smokes (when all of the men and the majority of women were smokers). Most of the characters barely drink (just one glass at Christmas) and, except for a child’s brief outburst at a family dinner table, (“I should say that we don’t like Irish people”) none of its white, working-class, ethnic characters have any problem with any other ethnic group.