Cultural Essay: Crash

For this cultural analysis paper, I have chosen to discuss the movie Crash.   This film focuses on prejudice based on race, culture, social status, and personal values. It strongly illustrates how individuals are wrongly prejudged based solely upon their color, religion, or even their occupation.

This work follows a number of characters and the many stereotypes, their prejudices, and the labels that are given and accepted by individuals.   The stories take place over a 48-hour span in a post-911 Los Angeles, California and identify racism, bias based upon social status, religion, and even occupation.   In focusing on these main characters and the interactions between them, the audience begins to understand how widespread this negative behavior is and how these characters show their personal values, or lack thereof, in situations that bring them together in one way or another.   The subtle bias of some characters is countered by the blatant outright bigotry by others within the story, and shows that not only are the individuals who are judging perpetuate these stereotypes, but one of the characters himself, by continuing to exhibit behavior that is appropriate in his mind based upon his race. In this paper, I will be looking at the encounters and the ways in which they exhibit and experience prejudice during a “crash” moment, and how they create barriers between themselves and others.

The first encounter involves a black police detective named Graham who is involved in a collision. He says, “It’s the sense of touch. In the real cities, you walk, you know? You brush past people, people bump into you. In LA, nobody touches you. We are always behind this metal and glass. I think we miss that touch so much, we crash into each other, just so we can feel something.”   The driver of their vehicle, a female police detective,   gets out of the car and approaches the Asian female driver of the vehicle that rear ended them,   as she is saying, “It’s not my fault. It’s her...