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The follows a storyline between a black detective Graham Waters and his criminal young brother Anthony along with his friend Peter, a racist white police officer John Ryan and his partner Tom Hanson who has a different outlook on race, a wealthy African American couple Cameron and Christine Thayer, a Persian shop owner Farhad and his daughter Dorri, a Hispanic locksmith Daniel Ruiz, and a white district attorney Rick and his prejudice wife Jean. While each of these characters has their own life, they all share the same issues.
This film ties each of the characters together by connecting them to social and political issues. “Crash” plays out a series of events that occur throughout a couple of days in the city of Los Angeles.
This film depicts how people from different backgrounds of social class, race, culture and gender react to racial and stereotypical problems that affect our society today. Stereotyping is labeling or classifying someone to a group. Black men are seen as thugs and criminals.
As the film progresses, we see collisions between different races, social classes and culture and gender. Discrimination, racism and prejudice involving the characters are also addressed in the film. These are social and political issues that are affecting our society. For example, in the beginning of the film a woman who was involved in a car crash blames an Asian women and states that “she can’t see over the steering wheel because she’s too short.” The Asian women retaliates, and they proceed to exchange racial and stereotypical slurs.
Another example is a scene where district attorney Rick and his wife Jean were walking to their car after dinner at a restaurant. While walking Jean saw two African American males, Peter and Anthony. When she saw them, her reaction was to clinch her husband for safety. Peter had picked up on Jeans reaction and told his partner Anthony. Racism is a belief that a race is better than another and their actions are a result from those beliefs. For example, Farhad and his daughter Dorri were at a gun stop trying to purchase a gun. The clerk made a couple of racist remarks and references about the twin towers and 9/11. Even though they were not Arab, after 9/11 middle eastern people were viewed as a potential terrorist. Political issues such as corrupted law enforcement is brought up. Detective Waters was given a choice to clear is troubled bother Peter record, but in doing so he would be agreeing to putting a fellow white police officer into jail.
Surprisingly Detective Waters agreed to the deal. This verifies that the system is corrupted and is sometimes used for other people’s benefits rather than protecting innocent people and putting the criminals away. One incident causes a ripple in the characters life, which all ties them together. People tend to take their past experiences and troubles and take them out on random people they encounter. This is exactly what is portrayed in the film. Officer Ryan gets frustrated because his father is getting sicker and he wants a different doctor. Officer Ryan then gets denied that request by an African American woman. He later took that frustration out by stopping Cameron and Christine Thayer and resulted in Officer Ryan sexually assaulting Christine and humiliating Cameron. Sadly, situations like this occur in real life. Some people are naïve and aren’t aware of these problems. This movie leaves a mark and brings light to important conversations about underling issues in our society. “It’s the sense of touch. In any city you work, you know? You brush past people, people bump into you.
In L.A nobody touches you. We’re always behind this metal glass. I think we miss that touch so much, that we crash into each other, just so we can feel something.” Even though this film came out over 10 years ago, we still can relate to the issues stated in this film. Discrimination, racism and prejudice is seen almost every day. It’s almost impossible to avoid. This film hits a lot of sensitive points that most people are uncomfortable to admit and talk about. Directed and written by Paul Haggis “Crash” addresses issues that affect many people lives. Racism and discrimination are a part of people’s life’s and some people experience these issues on a day to day basics. This film was a true eye opener, and I highly recommend anyone who hasn’t seen it to watch it.
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