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Paul Haggis’s Film Crash

Autor:   •  May 15, 2018  •  Essay  •  1,271 Words (6 Pages)  •  95 Views

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Common Differences

It cannot be denied that almost every single one of us has been quick to judge another person solely based on their outer appearance. It is also very common that we are very reluctant to accept individuals who we are unfamiliar with. Paul Haggis’s film Crash takes us to the city of modern day Los Angeles where it explores the various issues that we are faced with in society. Through the use of different racial groups, Haggis presents us with ideas of social constructs, gender roles, facing ourselves, love and of courses racism.

Crash very effectively portrays the intertwining of gender roles, racism and social norms. The stereotypical idea that men have this aggressive and dominant image is heavily challenged in a big part of the film. When director Cameron, who is of African American background, and his wife were pulled over by a racist police officer named John Ryan, his wife did not simply stay still. In fact, she begins putting up a fight and not complying which leads to be seen as an act of aggression by officer Ryan. This in turn made him more riled up. He then proceeds to check both Cameron and his wife for weapons. Officer Ryan searches Cameron’s wife in a very sexual manner which she did not like and puts the blame on Cameron for not “being a man” and protecting her pride. She later accuses him of being afraid that people would find out about this case and further hate him solely because he is black. This is further evident in his directing tendencies. In order to satisfy the public and not possibly lose his job, he purposely creates his works to be racially accepted and stereotypical. However, at the same time, if he does lose his job and reputation, he will also fail in being the male provider that society portrays men to be. His relationship with his wife continued to worsen and their marriage seemed to be on the verge of ending. This is very evident in society today where news of police brutality and black lives matter are all over the news. Spreading these cases through media further complicates situations. People’s ideas of police officers, the very individuals who are supposed to protect them, are put under a completely new light. Not only that, but this also brings about a bigger issue in that it causes years of hard fought racial injustice to resurface. This further creates a greater distance between the trusts and assimilation of the two races.

There is also an idea of realization and self-actualization. Surprisingly, despite officer Ryan’s racist attitude towards black people, his alternate nature shows that he also has compassion and sympathy for them. Whether officer Ryan realizes it or not, his hatred towards African Americans can be stemmed to his sick father. Being lost and upset, he finds a way to let out this pent up frustration and unfortunately in this case it is black people. This can be further solidified when John dove into


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