Teaching English social studies using the Film Gran Torino

Living in a multicultural society

“Reflect on how cultural differenced and dissimilar value systems can affect communication. It can also be used in addressing globalization and multiculturalism”.

Gran Torino is directed by Clint Eastwood who also has the lead role in the movie. It raises a number of issues, including ethnic relations, immigration, economic changes in America, life in urban America, individual violence and conflict resolution.

Classroom application before watching the movie:

  1. Before watching the movie see the trailer below
  2. Then in groups of 3 discuss these questions:

Questions for discussion.

  • What obligations, if any, do countries have towards their refugees?
  • What do you know about the Hmong people and their history with the USA? Look for information here.
  • What challenges do immigrants face in starting new lives for themselves in a new country?
  • How do Hollywood films portray people of different races and ethnicities? Do you have any examples?

Classroom application after watching the movie:

  1. Watch the movie
  2. Read the pdf found here, and look at the questions. Choose 5 questions to answer and write about on your blog. The questions should be important to the understanding of the movie.
  3. Gran Torino explores a number of themes related to globalization and multiculturalism, the complexity and interconnectedness of which is often difficult to understand. Be sure to include this in your post.
  4. Read this recent article by Bee Vang on of the actors in the movie. The Covid-19 era’s anti-Asian racism isn’t new. I learned this the hard way. Describe the intent of this article and how and why Covid-19 has changed anti-Asian racism

Part two found here!


  1. Thanks for sharing you info. I am a teaching who is looking at using this movie although I have some reservations about the language and am looking at how that ways in with way racism is addressed in movie.

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  5. Movie is based on stereotypes, full of overacting and too unhinged from reality to be effective…highly over-rated.

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