What is the impact of the film to you as a viewer? Do you agree with the point of view of the story?
For me, the visuals of China were unforgettable. Seeing what the mothers endured, hated, and loved in their home country helped me understand their ambivalence about America and their frequent disconnection with their daughters. The girls, though they have heard (most) of their mother's stories ad nausem, can never really know how hard life was for women in China and how lucky they are to live in a free country. It is not until Jing-Mei travels to the country and meets her half-sisters whom her mother was forced to abandon in China, that she starts to feel real empathy and sorrow for her mother's tragic life. Like Jing-Mei, seeing those images really brought home Tan's stories for me. The novel was fascinating and absorbing, but something about the visual captured me in a way the novel could not.
As for point of view, it is hard to say if I "agree" with a point of view or not. There are multiple points of view, from each of the daughters and each of the mothers. However, being a mother and a daughter myself, I understand how your children never really know how much you love them and what you've gone through as a person (a not-mom). As a daughter, I still get frustrated with my own mother who, raised in the 50s, has little in common with me.
I come to this question as a teacher of English as a Second Language who has taught for one year in South Korea. Second and third generation immigrants behave differently than their parents. The Second generation reacts often with shame and embarrassment regarding their home language, culture, and traditions. They want only to be American 100%, which of course, the parents resent. It continues to be so until third or fourth generation descendents want to return to the native roots and have an interest in learning the language, etc.
Knowing all this, I was amazed at the dynamics of the family. The beauty of the women and their strengths were overwhelming, and being able to relate to some of their stories from my experiences in South Korea were very emotional. The countryside shots of China were gorgeous and unforgettable.
There are so many points of view in this film, it is impossible to choose just one, but I was able to relate one some level to each of the characters as she told her individual story. This is one of the beautiful things about literature...it helps prepare us for situations that we may or may not ever encounter, and it helps us to better understand those who come from different backgrounds and experiences.
I identified with the various mother-daughter dynamics shown in the movie. As both a mom and a daughter, I've experienced something similar many times, and seeing them in The JOy Luck Club reminds me that these relationship dynamics are universal.
I liked the shifting point of view. Too many stories were woven together in the novel ,and a single point of view [in the movie] wouldn't have been as effective in portraying the various stories.