Crash & burn
A film that leaves plenty of bold questions about race
June 6, 2005
Thanks to the confrontational director, Paul Haggis, Americans
can finally see a movie that will make them sit up on their chairs.
And don't be slightly surprised if you find yourself flinching
more than a few times.
Without apology, Crash depicts tragic race relations that
exist among various ethnic groups in America. Making the film
more interesting is Haggis' inclusion of the desperate Caucasian
suburbanite and its counterpart, the white blue collar worker.
In all its boldness, the film repeatedly brings its racist characters
to their knees. So they are crashing into one another but it
seems they are burning more often than they expect.
The movie is essentially a compilation of intertwining events
that bring together Americans from various backgrounds in a span
of a day and a half. And who are these Americans -- among them,
store owner, a middle aged Korean couple, corrupt policemen,
and others who through the course of the film display rage against
one another, showing their racist, selfish inner-selves.
in the end the audience cannot really hate these individuals
since they all seem to be struggling with the same human vulnerabilities.
In conclusion, we all have shortcomings so how can we go about
overcoming them? Haggis doesn't answer the question -- but solely
shows us the problems, the issues at their core and elegantly
resurfaces the timeless question, "Is America really a melting
pot?" or are we just pretending to be something that we
have yet to achieve.
When it comes to the bold questions -- the movie leaves you
with plenty. No film in the past decade has so intelligently
tied in so many different races together -- for the Persian cast,
a riveting, truthful performance from all involved, and a sobering
reminder of the struggles Persian-Americans who are not readily
blessed with wealth must endure in order to live in America.
Whether you are White, Black, Persian, or Korean, you will
equally benefit from this movie. Haggis sends a grave message
to his audience, he asks you to question, with a critical mind,
and a critical eye, " What is America?"