Crash is a movie which tackles racial and social conflicts in Los Angeles, California. It was directed by Paul Haggis and it was released in the international market by the year of 2005. Haggis was inspired by a true to life event wherein his own car was carjacked in 1991. The story shows how human beings were born inherently good, yet as they grow older, people tends to have their own prejudices in life. Crash is a movie which depicts prejudice, racism, and racial norms. The location of the film was good in that Los Angeles is home to different people, of different culture and different beliefs.
Crash begin when a number of people are engaged in a multi-car mishap. From then on, the audiences were brought to the day before the crash happened. It allowed the audiences to see the lives of the characters of the story, as well as the problems and the dilemmas they came across on that fateful day. An LADP cop was featured while he was attempting to get medical assistance for his sire. However, he encountered a problem with a black HMO clerk who would not allow in giving his sire consent to see a different doctor.
This led to him turning his annoyance out on a black couple in the course of a traffic stop. Sandra Bullock, a rich girl, along with a District Lawyer (Brandon Fraser) was then on showed being carjacked by 2 black juveniles. In turn, Sandra released her fury on a Mexican locksmith who, at that point in time, was innocently working on the door locks of their house. Later on, the Mexican locksmith was once more deprived of hid own dignity by a Persian store-proprietor. The story depicts how each character shows their good side, only for the movie to later on show their negative side in the story.
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Crash, by Higgins portrays the way we tackle every facet in our daily lives which could be linked to the world’s class and racism. Each plot processions were constructed in such a way that tackles racism and class in the center. The movie itself allows the audience to relate to a variety of emotions. Higgins is exceptional by making supplementing each act with certain turn of fates which leaves the audiences in certain thoughts even after the movie was already over.
Each characters of the story leads a complex life and though we were allowed a brief view of what their lives were, we were still unable to fully comprehend the intricacies of each character. The movie was constructed in such a way that it allows us the opportunity to relate ourselves with that of the characters. The film was successful in tackling the problems and hazards of stereotyping and racism in today’s society.
They were able to accomplish this goal by inspecting personal apprehensions of other cultures, biases, marginalization, and racism from the numerous standpoints of the characters in the film. In a way, Crash dares its viewers to question the beliefs and biases they held within themselves. In the end, the movie was able to make a statement that each and everyone of us has our own set of prejudices which at times leads us to making a wrong move or decision.
In the short period of two days, the protagonists in the movie look as though they are interwoven with each other. The characters appear to be caught up with their personal encounters with racism. A good example of this would be the couple, Christine Thayer and Rick Cabot. When they arrived home after being carjacked, Christine was both frantic and disturb, she claimed to know better and believed that there is little chance of the same thing ever happening again.
She even went as far as giving those two Black juveniles the benefit of the doubt. People tends to act the same way Christine did, after we experience something bad or traumatic we prefer to forget about the incident and move on. At times we even try to think why people do certain things. We would certainly feel better if we know that what they stole from us was used for good reason such as feeding their family than to think that they did something terrible simply because they think that doing that thing is fun or the like.
Another scene in the story which specifically points towards the issue of racism is when Matt Dillon pulled over a black couple for no apparent reason at all. If we were one of the couples surely we would be shocked to be pulled over when we know very well that we did not commit any crime. The couple does not have any inkling whatsoever that the only reason they were pulled over were linked with racism and Dillon’s anger towards the Black man who refused to allow his father to see another doctor.
The movie was able to make us realize that we face the same instances on our daily lives. Although slavery was already abolished the long ago rift between the Blacks and the Whites still exists. This is all true to every people of different color all around the world. We are then faced with the issue of color. Is color that important for other race to be so racist with the other culture? Personally I believe that color is only skin deep and that is why I find it hard to fathom why people tends to go racist over that of people of other color or ancestry.
However the movie made me realize that although I long ago believed that color is of no importance and that I went to great measure to be sure that I treat each people I come across as fairly as I can, I realized that I was not really all that fair with my dealings with other people. Sometimes, although we are unaware of it, we tend to get racist. In the film we were shown an episode wherein Sandra Bullock let out her anger on the Mexican locksmith fixing her door.
This particular incident made me realize the fact that we actually tends to do things that way. We usually let out our frustration on other people especially if we believe that our rank is far superior to them. As I have mentioned before, though unaware, we sometimes commit racism towards other culture. Maybe it is all due to that hidden feeling lying somewhere there for all of us. It maybe that belief or the inherent wish for our culture to be the best, it may have stemmed up from our inherent belief that our race is far superior to that of another. In reality, we are thrown into a world full of hostility and violence. In a way, I commend the ability of the movie to make its audiences question their own biases in life.
For one, I never really thought that I am capable of racism until I started questioning myself if I could truly tell myself that I have never in my life, been racist. Although the movie centered most of its theme on racism, and although it made its audiences aware of some reality in life, the movie in itself did not give any ways nor did they explained how are we going to fight racism. The fact that the movie gave us a sense of awareness may be enough and in a way it is good that it did not give us any tips regarding the matter. Personally I believe that we alone could judge or determine the proper ways to fight racism. The truth of the matter is racism still exists; it is still there although we refuse to acknowledge it. Racism is prevalent in every society that even the most open minded of people is caught in the act of doing it.
The movie showed in detail our all fight against our personal demons. It was clearly portrayed that no matter what race you are you are guilty of the crime of racism. This is evident by the way Cjristine realized later on the movie that her problem did not arise from the Mexican locksmith and maid. Rather, the problem lies within her self. In fact, the maid proved to be a great friend in the end. The inherent goodness of mankind is evident all throughout the movie. In the end, human beings were just that-humans, capable of mistake yet also capable of compassion and understanding.
This is highly apparent as each character changed some of their attitudes. For one, the very cop who insulted the woman in front of her husband was the one who saved her own life. Another instance was when one of the black juveniles who stole Bullock’s car liberated an illegal Asian immigrant which remained concealed in the van There was also an instance when people of different races and color were seen in the screen (each one of them have certain problem towards that of another). Certain offensive phrases were thrown towards each other, covert biases were disclosed, and political rightness was thrown.
This is one of the things I admired in the movie, it is indeed invigorating to be able to hear and feel all of those emotions on a widescreen. However, although I could say that the film is good in its own right there are still certain things to which, I believe the film failed. Although the film gave us a chance to reflect, I still believe that the way it was made was all so typical. For one, the irony of the film is that the so-called racist cop ended saving the day of the woman he earlier insulted wherein the supposedly good cop ended up killing an innocent black man. It was all there, it was already expected that this particular twist of event was already foreseen and lost its surprise in the process.
Another factor is that Haggis gave us a brief glance on each character in the story but that alone was not enough. It made the story more complicated since there are so many stories you need to link together to be able to decipher the story as a whole. The brief glance we have of the other characters been too short for us to fully gauge what kind of stuff they are really made of. Due to Haggis intense hope to link each story of the characters with each other (which produce too much coincidences and luck) he failed to ignite some interest in the characters individual lives.
“Crash” indeed is a good title for the movie, since it already says it all – the fact that we crash into different people without realizing that no matter how different we are from that of another, in the end we were all one (unity in diversity). Towards the end of the movie they played an assortment of extensive music which portrays everyone on the cast looking so touching and emotional while an indie-rock song plays in the background. Basically, this particular scene in the movie was meant for the audiences to have some kind of a self reflection based on the movie we have just watched.
The brilliance on the film lies on the way Haggis portrayed racism. He did not went on portraying racism as a white man always abusing that of a Black, rather he went on to show that racism is a natural phenomenon and each and every one of us is capable of being a racist without even realizing it. He did not portray racism as a sin prevalent only to the whites rather he showed us that no matter what race you are in you could still be considered a racist at some point in time. The fact that the movie did not give any explanation or tips on how we are supposed to end racism made some feel rather irritated. However, that particular lack of advice could be viewed as Haggis acknowledgement of the fact that racism is inherent in all of us and as of the moment there is still no cure to solve this particular disease.
One thing is for sure though, Haggis was successful in making us realize that we are all at fault in some point in time and thus, we do not have any right to judge other people (or accuse other people of racism for that matter) since we are all guilty of the crime. We certainly could not blame others and mock racism without insulting our very own selves. It is great how Haggis portrayed each character as someone who is annoying and made us feel certain kind of irritation towards them. However, as the film progress we see ourselves reflected on the characters themselves. We then on realize that the characters Haggis made were indeed us – humans who are inherently good yet acts bad depending on the situation which arises.
As a whole, the film made me realize my mistakes towards my attitudes when dealing with other people. At times, when we are so down, when we loses hope, we failed to realize that we are exerting our anger towards innocent people and an abuse of power occurs. The film also made me realize that there lays goodness within each and every one of us. The fact that we are all so different yet so alike is a fact we often overlook. What good could too much similarity give to us? If we are all created all similar to each other then certainly there would be a lost in balance in the universe.
That is the very reason why we are created alike and yet different from each other. There are things only some group of people can do. Not simply because you are different from me it already means that you are inferior and I am superior from you. The color of one’s skin and the like does not necessitate that we act all mighty and superior towards other races. For peace to prevail, the important thing for us to do is to learn to accept the views and beliefs of other people. By boxing ourselves on our own personal beliefs and cultures we fail to acknowledge the beauty that lies on other people’s culture.
Although our beliefs are different from that of another we must still learn to listen and to respect their own beliefs. It does not necessarily follow that by listening and by respecting other people’s beliefs we are already accepting that belief as our own. In the end respecting other people’s view would serve the best of our interest in that we avoided hurting other people’s feelings, we avoided causing commotion and we attained peace.
Crash. 2005. Marina Grasic, Paul Haggis and Cathy Schulman.
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