The diversity of people is to a large extend, the root cause of all conflicts. The fact that people vary in terms of their personalities, race, language, skin color, among others, is a clear implication that their interaction is subject to violence. Paul Haggis’ ‘passion piece’ Crash, set in Los Angeles proves this. In his works, Haggis depicts the interaction of characters that differ in all senses; race, origin, skin color, just to mention a few. This is why statements like, ‘white shooter’, ‘Persian man’, ‘Hispanic locksmith’ stand out in the character’s conversations to mark their differences. It is from these divergences that the film’s title ‘Crash’ is derived to imply the violence that results when two or more ‘different’ people interact. It is worth noting that all the characters in the film are victims of crashes and none is free of sympathy. In the movie, the evident violence in crashing is only meant to endorse an upbeat transformation for those who collide with others, as expounded next.
Clashes stand out in the 36-hour encounter of the movie’s various characters. For instance, as the movie begins, the results of a car crash involving Ria, Kim Lee, and Waters are no more than clashes. Ria and Lee abuse each other depicting their differing racial backgrounds. Lee referring to Ria says, “Why? Not my fault! It’s her fault! She does this…Stop in the middle of the street! Mexicans! No know how to drive” (Haggis). These two portray their different places of origins and each is in support of hers. Following the accident, none admits to being the cause. They end up arguing about the cause even after the motorcycle cop intervenes. Ria, a race-driven character attempts to fight Lee back since she (Lee) is a Mexican unlike her. Ria says, “I’ll give you a lesson…My father’s from Puerto Rico. My mother’s from El Salvador. Neither one of those is Mexico” (Haggis). In this movie, instances of car crashes and carjacking are prevalent, most of which result in shootings and killings. This is a symbolic phenomenon that Haggis uses in addressing the results associated with crashes. “Calm down…” (Haggis), are the motorcycle cop’s words in an attempt to bring the parties into terms. This is the positive change that Haggis sets to foster in the current society. Racial crashes stand out in the movie too.
When Farhad and his daughter Dorri visit the shop to purchase a gun, the shopkeeper denies it to them owing to their racial backgrounds. Farhad argues with the store owners about the matter. The owner wants him (Farhad) taken out of the gun store. He says, “Andy, get him out of here now… Get the fuck out of my store!” (Haggis), a statement that induces Farhad’s anger, who in turn says, “You are ignorant man!” (Haggis) In addition, Flanagan’s and Graham’s words are no more than racial crashes. Flanagan in an abusive exchange declares, “Fucking black people, huh…more black men are incarcerated than white men” (Haggis). A factor that seems to fuel this crash is communication. It ought to be the solution of the prevailing racial differences but the movie depicts it as the cause. For instance, the misunderstanding evident in the conversation between Farhad and his daughter concerning the nature of the gun to be purchased is the root cause of his racial insults with the store owner. Moreover, the car crash between the Mexican and Asian can be solved through dialogue but this is not the case. The two end up exposing their racial differences when the Asian woman says, “Mexicans know no how to drive” (Haggis), whereas her counterpart declares to the officer that, “our car was hit by an Asian driver” (Haggis). These, among others, are racial crashes resulting from language differences.
In conclusion, in his movie, Haggis employs all categories of people, young, old, men, women, white, black, to mention a few, to show how their interactions are subject to violence because of their differences. On the other hand, this resulting violence is what Haggis uses in addressing the need for a fight against racial, color, or gender discrimination, all of which are evident today. As the case is on the ground, all the characters in this film have gone through crashes and all are subject to sympathy.
Haggis, Paul. “Crash” Los Angeles, 2005.