Movie Analysis : Paul Haggis ' Academy Award Winning 2004 Film Crash Essay

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In Paul Haggis’ Academy Award-winning 2004 film Crash, many narratives intertwine to paint a picture of one of today’s melting pot cities: Los Angeles. Characters are challenged both to play into stereotypes of their races and counter them. The film relies on its viewers being familiar with myriad racial stereotypes; each scene is a guessing game, where the viewer must guess whether or not the character will act in a way that is stereotypical to their race, gender, etc. One such guessing game concerns two young black men in a predominantly white, well-lit area of the city.
To set the scene: the street is adorned with Christmas lights. The two young men, in their own words dressed like UCLA students, exit a diner, discussing racial discrimination. The camera cuts to a wealthy white couple. As the two pairs pass each other, the white woman links arms with her husband and gives the black men a sidelong glance. In the words of one of the men, “She got cold.” What happens next?
The white woman has already fulfilled her role; she doesn’t trust the men and her body language suggests she wants to convey the message that her husband will protect her. What will the black men do? Will they fulfill their roles, too, as dangerous people up to no good? Or will they quietly go about their own business? In the case of Crash, the men fulfill their stereotypical roles. They pull out their guns and steal the couples’ car. This only strengthens the woman’s assumptions about young black men, and

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