Midnight Cowboy, Revisited

Midnight Cowboy photo still
photo still from Midnight Cowboy, 1969

Sometimes in my PR Writing class, we talk about movies. (You can’t talk about PR Writing the whole time, am I right?) My favorite movies come from 1968-1974, and last week I mentioned “Midnight Cowboy” as a must-see.

Fast forward one week, and I get a posting on my Facebook page from a student from Uzbekistan. All she wrote was this: Midnight Cowboy made me sad. 🙁

That’s a pretty common reaction, so I didn’t attach too much to it (though I knew it would be a good excuse to talk about movies in class again). She stopped me in the hall to say that she saw the picture as an immigrant story. I had never thought of it that way. She said that the comically-then-tragically naive “cowboy” Joe Buck came to New York to follow his dreams in the same way immigrants as herself come from even farther away. The difference, she said, is that immigrants have even bigger “American dreams” — her phrase, a nice one — and that they have even bigger obstacles to overcome, given their unfamiliarity with the culture and the language.

What a pleasure to see a new story in familiar art.PunditWire Initials

Mike LongMike Long has written remarks for Members of Congress, U.S. Cabinet secretaries, governors, diplomats, CEOs, and four presidential candidates. He was also a semi-finalist for the 2010 Kairos Screenwriting Prize for his screenplay The Joby Project.

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