Analysis of Crash Movie
The Oscar-winning best picture -- extensively prefigured, especially by white liberals, for proceeding an honest discussion of race in the United States -- is, in fact, a holdup in the crucial project of forcing white America to come to terms the reality of race and racism, white supremacy and white privilege.
The central theme of the film is simple: Everyone is prejudiced -- black, white, Asian, Iranian and, we are responsible, anyone from any other racial or ethnic group. We all carry around racial/ethnic baggage that’s filled with unfair stereotypes, long-stewing grievances, raw anger, and crazy fears. Even when we think we have made progress, we find ourselves caught in frustratingly complex racial webs …show more content…
But putting the critique in the mouth of such a morally unattractive character undermines any argument he makes, and his analysis is presented as pseudo-revolutionary blather to be brushed aside as we follow the filmmakers on the real subject of the film -- the psychology of the prejudice that infects us all.
That the characters in “Crash” -- white and non-white alike -- are complex and have a variety of flaws is not the problem; we don’t want films populated by one-dimensional caricatures, simplistically drawn to make a political point. Those kinds of political films rarely help us understand our personal or political struggles. But this film’s characters are drawn in ways that are ultimately reactionary.
Although the film follows a number of story lines, its politics are most clearly revealed in the interaction that two black women have with an openly racist white Los Angeles police officer played by Matt Dillon. During a bogus traffic stop, Dillon’s Officer Ryan sexually violates Christine, the upper-middle-class black woman played by Thandie Newton. But when fate later puts Ryan at the scene of an accident where Christine’s life is in danger, he risks his own life to save her, even when she at first reacts hysterically and rejects his help. The white male is redeemed by his heroism. The black woman, reduced to incoherence by the trauma of the accident, can only be silently grateful for his transcendence.
Even more important to the