Crash Essay

1053 words - 4 pages


Stereotypes are the organizational factors that virtually shape the way we think in 20th century America. They somehow manage to categorize some of life's most complex matters into nice distinct sections. Classifications and organization, at first glance seem to be useful in distinguishing various aspects of modern life. However, these grouping methods can be very inaccurate, leaving erroneous ideas in the minds of citizens on a global level. Stereotypes, though originating as convenient sorting mechanisms, instead, influence our thinking process. Crash depicts numerous characters and brings them together through carjacking, car accidents and shootings. The movie Crash represents the nature of race relations in America. Most of the characters depicted in the film are racially opinionated in some way, and become mixed up in conflicts which force them to examine their own discrimination. The films show how one stereotype, one miscommunication or lack of communication, could turn into an unstable situation. Through these characters' connections and lack of communication, the film tries to show prejudice and racism is frequent and common in present America.

Problems of race and sex make a group of strangers in Los Angeles to psychologically and physically crash in the drama. Graham is a police officer whose brother is a street criminal, and it hurts him to know his mother cares more about his good-for-nothing brother than him. Rick is an L.A. district attorney whose wife, Jean, makes little secret of her horror and hate of people not like herself. Jean's worst dreams about people of color are complete when her SUV is stolen by two African American men. Cameron is a rich African American television producer with a gorgeous wife. When coming back from a party one night, they are pulled over by the police Officer Ryan subjects them to a shameful examination and his wife to an improper search while his new partner, Officer Hansen, looks on. Daniel is a hard working locksmith and devoted father who finds out that his looks don't guide a lot of his customers to trust him. And then you have Farhad, a Middle Eastern storekeeper who is continually endangered because of the Sept 11 attacks. We then think that all the people that belong to that group act the same (Haggis).

The main disagreement and conflict in this movie is not between the film's characters but between the film's content and its structure. Race is a key in this film, and all our beliefs about who people are get twisted and turned though the complicated plot. With each new extra character we find another stereotype, and watch as that prejudice is destroyed as the character builds up. In this film every race is judged based on some general stereotype. The Asians are poor immigrants who are not important, the Mexicans are thieves, the Middle Eastern are terrorists, the white people are certainly racists, and the blacks are the gang bangers, and so on. There is not a...

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