Landmark Films That Confront Racism In The U.S.

Written by Mark Rausch

Gran Torino

In Clint Eastwood’s 2008 drama, his character — the craggy, sick remnants of a brawny man — summons all his demons and resources to combat bigotry in his neighborhood, within and without himself. Walt Kowalski is a Vietnam vet who, in a classic storytelling arc, “comes around” to his Hmong neighbors who are at the center of a vicious gang problem. The impact of this film is resounding, especially with the scenes between Eastwood and the family of young Thao (Bee Vang), whom Walt reluctantly takes under his wing.