Cinematic Representations of Homegirls: Echo Park vs. Hollywood in Allison Anders’s 'Mi Vida Loca'
Allison Anders in Mi Vida Loca (1993) presents various aspects of gang life: from becoming a gang member, through various examples of female sisterhood and betrayal. Not resorting to gangxploitation, Mi Vida Loca is the “first commercial film to focus entirely on Chicana gang members” (Fregoso 97). Anders’s project, well-grounded and well-designed, attempts to do away with numerous stereotypes concerning homegirls in L.A. and to portray a credible picture of gang life in Echo Park. At the same time, Anders’s approach is relatively “partial in its one-sided view of la vida loca,” which inevitably leads to further stereotyping of Chicana homegirls (Fregoso 97). The purpose of the article is to analyze assets and disadvantages of Anders’s representation of Chicana female gang members focusing on the dynamics of the interplay between Hollywood (i.e. Anders’s project) and the barrio—in that case Echo Park, L.A.
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