The central cultural beliefs in a film are an experiential nexus that permeates its narrative codes of ethnicity, social class, and family dynamics…If ethnic filmic presence depended on an audience’s conscious recognition of values, then only explicit surface labels (name, country, religious symbols) would pass muster. …it is severely limiting, for both an ethnic group’s identity and an audience’s experience of it, to assume that ethnic identity stems from a one-to-one correspondence between filmic sign (visual, verbal, aural) and the particular culture.
Lourdeaux, L. (1990). Italian and Irish filmmakers in America: Ford, Capra, Coppola, and Scorsese. Philadelphia: Temple University Press. (pg. 14)