Director: Paul Haggis
Release Date: May 6th, 2005
Starring: Sandra Bullock, Don Cheadle, Matt Dillon
From IMDB: Los Angeles citizens with vastly separate lives collide in interweaving stories of race, loss and redemption.
When I first saw this film, it made me so incredibly uncomfortable that I never wanted to watch it again. However, at the time, I thought I simply had the wrong impression of the film. After all, it won Best Picture and so of course it was supposed to be this amazingly powerful production. But I still didn’t like it and I found myself not wanting to like. And it wasn’t until years later that I realized something incredible.
I took a step back and really thought about why it made me uncomfortable and why I wasn’t able to appreciate the “genius” behind the film. This film shows blatant racism, a crooked justice system, gun violence and prejudice in almost every form. There were vivid scenes of sexism and sexual assault interlaced with racism and the horrible feeling of not having the power to stop it. It was scenes like those that haunted me and caused me to want to push it down and as far away in my subconscious as possible. However, the more I thought about it, the more my reaction to the film seem justified but my wanting to push it to the side did not.
Racism, violence, sexual abuse and prejudice should always make people feel uncomfortable. We should never be okay with those types of things happening to ourselves or to others. We should never find ourselves in a situation where we think that those things just happen and that they’re a part of life. We should never be in this mindset that “life just isn’t fair. So why should we do anything about it?” That being said, I realized that I can’t just ignore this film because of how much it twisted my insides. This film is important for that exact reason. It shows an ugly and heartbreaking depiction of the world and yet it is showing reality. A reality that we cannot choose to forget or pretend does not exist. The only way to overcome these harsh realities is to admit that they happen and then find a way to make a change. For you cannot change what you do not see.
Crash is powerful and heartbreaking and shows us that we should never be comfortable with racism, prejudice and violence.