* Human nature is The general psychological characteristics, feelings, and behavioural traits of humankind, regarded as shared by all humans. * Crash directed by Paul Haggis presents to us an intertwining story set within the streets of LA, confirming and challenging racial stereotypes and at the same time reflecting the ever existing good and dark side of human nature.
* Human nature drives us all to view “the other” as bad, evil and untrustworthy, it is complex and every man, despite differences holds the underlying values buried deep into our subconsciousness * In the film crash, Haggis has successfully portrayed the truth about human nature through the conventions of dialogue, camera shot and symbolism, confusing us as viewers, but also giving us an intruging insight into the reality of each and every one of us despite differences in race and background. * Haggis has successfully evoked feelings of uneasiness, confusion, anger and empathy at through the making of the film crash.
* Human nature drives us to fear the unknown, the “other” in our eyes is seen as evil and that we should steer away from any communication. It may be in relation to race, ethnicity, age, gender or beliefs but in reality each one of us does not have the ability to fight this automatic discrimination against those who are different. * Haggis has successfully reflected this dark aspect of human nature through the convention of dialogue. * In one scene a Persian man is attempting to purchase a gun from a white American.
The salesman calls the man “osama” and then continues to talk about 9/11, he then is aggressively told to leave the shop. * The white American man displays his fear of “the other” by racially discriminating him through his dialogue, he has his own racist, stereotypical image of this man in his mind automatically relating him to 9/11 and due to his human nature sees him as “the other” and as untrustworthy to be in his shop telling him he “has no right to buy a gun here” * In another scene a Hispanic locksmith is changing a white American couples locks on their door after their car had been hijacked.
The American woman makes assumptions that this locksmith is going to sell their key to his “homies” purely because of the way he looks and his race and demands to get her locks changed again in the morning. * The American woman views the locksmith as “the other” and due to her human nature she fears him, and does not trust him to be in her house. Her judgement is not on personality or individual traits it is based upon the automatic assumptions she makes about him due to his tattoos, dress sense and skin colour.
Little does she know that the Hispanic locksmith was in many eyes the only character in crash seen as completely innocent, but due to her ignorance she believed the opposite. * Through dialogue Haggis has successfully positioned the viewer to feel anger at both of these scenarios and causes us to question our own human nature and our own classification of “the other”. We are positioned to feel guilt as we feel partly responsible for these racial stereotypes as we too, through our human nature, instinctively stick to our own.
* Human nature is complex, values at polar opposites could exsist in the same man, particular beliefs could be compromised and in reality no one can ever truly understand the extent of complexities embedded within each person. * Racsim and nobility can exsist in the same man. Haggis has successfully portrayed this idea of human nature through the narrative conventions of camera shot and dialogue. * In one scene a cop pulls over a black couple, he abuses his power and shows extreme racism seen through the convention of low camera angle while he molests her.
* In another scene the same cop shows nobility while is seen rescuing the same black woman he molested, he ironically says things to her such as “im not going to hurt you” * The camera angle in the first scene is a panning low angle displaying the police officers hand stroking up the womans leg, emphasizing his sickening racist actions. In the second scene the camera angle is a close camera angle focusing on his remorseful worrying facial expression.
The shot of the hand in the first scene could represent “a mans hand” where the shot of his face in the second scene presents him, and therefore suggests that although his racism and dark side of his human nature exsists the good side of his human nature is a representation of his true identity and we begin to question the reasons behind his actions. * These two scenes In the movie crash display to us that humans are extremely complex.
A man can live a life full of sin but then commit a noble act just as a man can be a criminal but then save a life. * The concept of human complexities is hard to grasp, an individuals identity can determine why they act a certain way or do certain things. The cop in the film displayed racism due to the fact that a black woman would not help his sick father, but does this excuse particular values and behaviours? * Through the convention of camera angle Haggis has effectively positioned the viewer to feel both disgust and awe at the same man.
We begin to question what drives humans to be so complex and we wonder whether it is ever possible for a man to be seen as completely innocent. * Instinctively human natures drives us to protect and stick to our own, just as we repel those who are seen as different. * This universal value embedded inside each and every human is represented by Paul Haggis in the film crash through utlising the narrative convention of symbolism. * Crash follows the story of a Hispanic locksmith and unconditional love of his.
Courtney from Study Moose
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