Paper Moon Montana

What would you do, if arriving on the fall of your life, you realize your children, those in which you have deposited all your energy, all your dreams, all your love … are just good-for-nothing parasites? Well, that question so irremediably cruel is the one that director Clark Johnson wanted to answer on new Netflix flick Juanita .

Now, if you really want to know what happened throughout this movie and especially what the ending means, do not worry, because without further ado, we’ll analyze and explain this movie. Keep reading!

1 ^ Any post-credits scene on Juanita?

Well, you could expect that after such an ambiguous ending, there might be a possibility of a post-credits scene, but the truth is that NO. Juanita does not have any post-credits scene. Deal with it.

2 ^ Why does Juanita leave Columbus?

Well Juanita (Alfre Woodard) made it very clear after her conversation with Kay-Rita (LaTanya Richardson Jackson), her beauty salon friend: all her life Juanita had spoiled her children so the three of them ended up being anything except what she someday expected from them:

Randy (Marcus Henderson), his eldest son, ended up involved in an street crime who sent him to jail. Bertie (Jordan Nia Elizabeth), became pregnant at age 19 and has left Juanita with the responsibility of taking care of her baby, in the meantime she gets up at noon, after spending the night partying. And finally Rashawn (Acorye ‘White), his youngest son, is involved in the illegal drug trade, with all that implies.

Tired of being the support her children use to keep ruining themselves, Juanita decides to leave, without even having a definite destination to reach. Juanita sums up her decision on the fact that she does not want to end up hating those she is supposed to love.

3 ^ Are Moon Paper and Butte, Montana real places?

In fact Butte, Montana is a real city, counting around 40,000 people. But in fact it does not look much like you see in the movie, it’s a city with its huge avenues, its huge shopping centers and its huge green neighborhoods, it’s not a town where people walk around with cowboy hats, smoking, drinking and firing weapons while driving a vehicle. For your information.

Paper Moon, on the other hand, appears a lot as a business name throughout the United States, but not as a real city or town. Perhaps it exists only in fiction, or maybe, as they mention in the film, it is so small that it does not even appear on maps.

4 ^ How long did Juanita take to go from Columbus to Butte, Montana, and then to Paper Moon?

Definitely, we can answer that question. According to the Greyhound official website, which we believe is something like the official sponsor of this film, it would take a minimum of 40 hours and fifteen minutes to get to Butte, leaving from Columbus, Ohio. And if we add the 7 hours that Juanita informs it took Peaches (Ashlie Atkinson) to cover the distance from Butte to Paper Moon, then in total it would be 47 hours and fifteen minutes. Two full days

When was the last time you traveled two full days on a bus?

5 ^ Why did Juanita go to Butte, Montana instead to Miami, Florida?

Miami, like Las Vegas, or Phoenix historically have been cities where people goes to meet physical needs. People moves to Florida when they are too old to suffer the cold north; they move to Las Vegas when they want gambling and sluts, and to Phoenix when they want to work without having to rub their hands every 5 seconds on account of the cold.

Juanita wanted to take a trip, not to cover her physical urgencies, but her spiritual and emotional needs, to find herself and it was clear she was not going to accomplish that on Spring Break Town. So, if she had to go to the butt of the world, she would. So she ended up in Butte.

6 ^ Why was Juanita seeing Blair Underwood naked all the time?

Well, Blair Underwood is something like the Brad Pitt of African-American women in the United States, and is the perfect symbol to represent the repression of Juanita’s sexual side, hidden all the time because of her long working days and her situation with her children.

It is noteworthy that when Juanita begins her journey and meets Jess, the visions with Blair Underwood disappear. This only implies that she has already given free rein to her sexual freedom, on her own terms.

7 ^ Why such a long stop on Paper Moon?

When our protagonist left Columbus, Ohio, she knew she needed to find something, but she really had no idea what it was – to be able to glimpse that something, she needed to make a stop and the perfect place was the Indian town of Paper Moon.

Once there, Juanita understood that first she had to detoxify from her old habits and work for herself, before being able to take the next step. So Paper Moon is the rock to which she clung while she could find her purpose.

8 ^ What is Jess to Juanita?

First, Jess (Adam Beach) represented the opportunity to feel like a woman, outside of her role as mother and nurse, to feel like woman in a sexual, beautiful, desired and sensual plane.

Second, the relationship with Jess was also a change at the emotional level, in the sense that with him the relationship was never one of dependence, as it was between her and her children, but one of mutual collaboration, understanding and finally, if you want to see it like that, of love. But not of that selfish and opportunistic kind of love, but a kind of love based on the recognition of the real worth of the other. Great, right?

9 ^ What is the meaning of Juanita’s ending?

At the end of the film we see how Juanita takes her final step- to go to California to see the ocean, and once there we see her walking on a beach, rejecting the proposals of the imaginary Blair Underwood, until finally the credits roll.

What? That is all? Why did not he come back with Jess? Why did they leave the film unfinished? It could be the questions that many of us ask at the end, but let us not be not so radical and let’s analyze a little.

The decision to go to California is symbolic, just as Las Vegas is the place where Americans go to look for gambling and sluts, California is the place where historically they have gone to look for their dreams. And Juanita’s dream is clear when she walks on the beach.

There, dressed in white, far from the dark outfits she had at the beginning of the film, Juanita finally decides to be happy on her own, without having to answer for her now very adult children, and without the need for a permanent love relationship.

There, she realizes that being alone and responding only to her needs is where happiness has been hidden from her, and it is not a physical issue, which is evident when she rejects the imaginary Blair Underwood – with alcohol and sex -, it is a matter related to satisfying her own spiritual and emotional needs, on her own terms.

10 ^ What is the message of Juanita?

Toxic relationships, based on dependence, jealousy and individual expectations, are never synonymous with happiness and they always end in destruction.

And as a complement to this message, appears the most important premise, which is that there is no one else that can find your happiness more than yourself, that you may not have it clear at first, but maybe you need to get away, take distance, and see things in perspective to do it, but in the end, although there are those who are willing to help you find the answer, you are the one who must find the key to that secret door where happiness, satisfaction and prosperity await for you.

Questions? Annotations? Doubts? Insults? The comments section is open just below this post. See you in another post of Ending Explained, here on El Sabanero X.