Table of Contents
- McFarland, USA as My Favorite Movie
- Lessons Learned from McFarland, USA
- The Main Idea of McFarland, USA
McFarland, USA as My Favorite Movie
My favorite movie is McFarland, USA. This movie is my favorite because it is an inspiring movie about a struggling football coach /physical education teacher who moves into a poor district in California after losing his job. Jim White, the coach, lost his job because he got into a dispute with one of his players who had a bad attitude and he ordered him to leave but he didn’t. Out of anger, Jim threw a shoe at the locker which hit the player in the face which caused him to lose his job. Upon arrival at McFarland High School, he discovers the potential in several of the high school boys and decides to start a cross country team and turns them into state champion runners. He also helps them overcome their personal turmoil and become successful. It demonstrates that Latino children excel in cross country and used their success to get away from working in agricultural fields, picking fruits and vegetables with their families to survive. McFarland is an underfunded high school and he serves as an assistant coach and PE teacher. While sitting in the stands and watching a set of boys run a lap in gym class, he saw the boys’ speed, physical strength, and exceptional running abilities. A couple of them even run to and from school because they do not have cars. An idea sparks in Jim’s mind when he notices how fast two of his boys who were cut from the football team were, so he decided not to allow those boys’ talent to be wasted, and he started a cross-country team. Jim even said to the principal, “We have kids here who seems like they can run forever. They go to school all day and some of them even run home. I’ve seen it; it’s unbelievable.” Jim is very determined as he wants to see his athletes succeed. For example, he organizes a car wash for the team fundraising, giving them new uniforms and shoes. I like the fact that despite the obstacles and struggles the boys face, both on the track and at home, Jim refuses to give up on the boys because he wanted to create a better life for them. For example: “I’ll be honest with you, the odds are stacked against us, you guys are superhuman, there’s nothing you can’t do with that kind of strength, with that kind of heart, you kids have the biggest hearts I’ve seen go run your race.” McFarland High School won the state title and eight more after that, all of the students were coached by Jim.
Lessons Learned from McFarland, USA
This movie teaches me that failure, perseverance, working hard against all odds, along with a good and caring coach allows athletes to win championships and inspire others. The strength inside the characters allows them to rise and eventually reach and achieve their goals. My favorite character is Jim; he cares for his athletes such as when the Diaz brothers were withdrawn from the team by their father because he wanted them to spend more time working in the fields and harvesting to help provide for the family. He thought the boys were losing work every hour they spent time running. Jim, in exchange, offered to help them work picking produce in the blazing sun so the boys could run. I like Jim because he is encouraging and motivating after the boys’ first competition. They were defeated, and the boys were disappointed, but he encouraged them to continue doing something worthwhile and not to be discouraged. He pushes them to achieve the unthinkable. In addition, he helps the boys to get better by making them run up hills and longer distances. For example, he said, “What is hard is watching someone pass you on a hill; what is hard is losing. When you see a hill we’re going to smile as you’ve got the biggest hearts I’ve ever seen.”
The Main Idea of McFarland, USA
Jim had big dreams and hoped to rebuild his career to get a good paycheck, but he decided to stay in McFarland to help high school kids get a chance to pursue their own dreams as in that predominately Latino town there are few aspirations for the future. As Jim said in the movie, “No one stays in McFarland unless they have to. There isn’t anything American dream about this place.” Jim motivates them to do better to escape poverty and have a better life rather than live in that poor town. If I could change something about this movie, it would be the fact that the boys had to work so hard in the fields before and after school. Instead, I would have a bus take them to school instead of running.