Study Guide

Chinatown Family

Family

We really only see one family in this movie—the Cross-Mulwray clan—and we don't get a very favorable impression, to say the least. Noah Cross impregnates his own daughter, Evelyn, who gives birth to a daughter that is also her sister. Not exactly The Brady Bunch. Chinatown gives us a picture of an American family that's a total nightmare of incest and criminality; we don't actually see a healthy, normal familial relationship in this movie.

Questions About Family

  1. How does Evelyn's familial upbringing affect her relationships with Hollis and Jake?
  2. What do you think Hollis thought about everything that happened with Evelyn and her father? How did he fit into their family's dynamic?
  3. What do you think will happen to Evelyn's daughter in the future?

Chew on This

Families are all systems of power, although very few are as extreme as the Cross clan.

Families are more about love than power, and Noah Cross is the awful exception not the rule.

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