Discussion Questions for “Tigers Are Not Afraid”

Write a paragraph or two in response to each of the following prompts:

As I often do, I’d like us to start with the title. Why is this movie called “Tigers Are Not Afraid”?  What is the larger significance of “tigers” in this film? What tigers do we see? This film is often referred to as “magical realism.” How does it use tigers to blur the line between reality and fantasy?

This film starts with the citation of some rather grim statistics about the dead and disappeared from the slums of Mexico? How does the film that follows use fantasy and horror reflect upon and address those harsh social realities?

The first problem in this film is that our protagonist Estrella does not know where her mother is or what happened to her. Her search for answers initiates the narrative. How does this film explore the idea of “family”?

Finally, this film includes many elements that we associate with “magical realism,” “fantasy,” and “fairy tales.” So, in the end, is this really a “horror” film? How do we know? What horror themes, tropes, and traditions does it include (or exclude)?

Published by Chuck Caruso

writer of dark fiction (crime, horror & western noir), literary & textual scholar (american gothic, noir, po-co, sf), and cultural critic

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