First, I need say that as a Chinese student, I'm not very good at English. Maybe the comment is very naïve in your eyes. But I just tried to do my best.
Reflections on the Movie Crash
It's the sense of touch. In any real city, you walk, you know? You brush past people, people bump into you. In L.A., nobody touches you. We're always behind this metal and glass. I think we miss that touch so much, that we crash into each other, just so we can feel something.
--------lines in Crash
Seldom can we see such a movie, combining several stories of different people in such a logical and compact way, pointing to some of the most penetrating problems in society. The 2005 Oscar winner Crash is just such an impressive movie that can strike your soul. Set in the background of the multinational city Los Angeles, Crash tells the interlocking stories of whites, blacks, Latinos, Koreans, Iranians, cops and criminals, the powerful and powerless, etc. Those people seem totally unrelated. However, just as the lines in the movie suggest, we crash into each other, which is an inevitable thing.
In a flashback, the director brings his audience to the day before the crash accident which is the first scene. Different people encounter different things, yet all lead to one consequence: the accumulation of anger and the false assumption of the people standing before us. Their moods are affected by others’ illegal or unfair deeds, and they humiliate or bully the next people they meet just to release their pent up anger. In this way, one thing leads to another, and everyone begins to feel insecure in this multinational society. They hurt others as a way to keep a distance so that they get a little more comfort. In this movie, L.A. is like a hell.
Needless to say, collisions are the theme of the movie. We can see collisions between different races, different classes, different cultures, and moreover, different natures inside the characters. We feel like God looking down into this city and their lives, and everyone seems so humble. No one is purely kind. The district attorney’s wife, though robbed and had a gun pointed at her head, later discriminated the black young locksmith and reprimanded her Asian servant. A white policeman, whose father is sick and can’t sleep at night, was refused for changing a doctor for his father and later humiliated a black director’s white wife. But it was also he who risked his life to save that woman from a car that was about to explode. Human nature is complex; you can never judge a person by his single deed, for we are too easy to be annoyed by others.
In this movie, discrimination and prejudice are the cause of all kinds of collisions. We are used to looking at people with a stereotype in mind, presuming what kind of person he should be, instead of really talking and contacting him. It seems that we always have some prejudices that black people are violent and tend to be criminals; Asian people are poor and ignorant; white people always feel superior to other races and discriminate them; the white-collar people are somehow more distinguished to the laborers. This kind of stereotype is what we usually get from movies, TV series, and books. Yet when it comes to a specific person, things can be very different, even the opposite. The sad truth is, sometimes even ourselves consider us in the stereotype way, and we feel as if others tend to violate us. So we just act in a hostile way and actually strengthen the stereotype image. Think of the young black robber in the movie. On one hand, he keeps complaining the society discriminate them as danger signals and white people avoid contacting them; on the other hand, he pulled out his pistol and robbed the innocent white woman of her car, hit a Korean and just escaped. And think of the Persian shopkeeper who always feel inferior to others and is always furious. If he were a little friendlier to others, he might never need to buy a pistol and have his shop sacked in one night. When seeing the ragged and unkempt immigrants are called Chinese in the movie, it suddenly occurred to me that I’ve once read in a report that large amount of Chinese migrate illegally to America every year to hunt for labor work and live in slums, notorious for their impolite behavior. So it is natural for foreigners to have a bad stereotype of Chinese in mind. We always keep complaining about the unfair way others treat us, but we seldom think of changing ourselves. If you really act in an indecent way, how can you expect others to change their opinions?
Generally, I think what the director of Crash wants to convey is: we are living in a society where everyone is closely connected to others. Our behavior can always affect others’ to some degree. If we deal with it well, it is called harmony. If we don’t, that’s what we call collision. Anyway, you can not avoid contact and interact. So why don’t we just behave in a more tolerant way, in which we try to understand and accept others’ cultures, customs, complexions, instead of being suspicious, jealous and irritable? If we succeed, the hellish L.A. in the movie may become a paradise.
After Fatal Car Crash, Yale Graduating Senior’s Reflection Essay Goes Viral
Posted by College Media Matters on Tuesday, May 29, 2012 · Leave a Comment
Arecent essayby a Yale University graduating senior reflecting on her time in school and limitless future possibilities is spreading across the wider web in the wake of her sudden death Saturday in a car crash.
Within the piece, featured in a special commencement issue of The Yale Daily News, 22-year-old Massachusetts native Marina Keegan shares her affection for the Yale community, defining the security and warmth it provided her as “the opposite of loneliness.” She also reminds her fellow graduates that even though they may already feel limited by their chosen degrees, peer competition, and general life stresses and responsibilities, they are still free to grab hold of the world and leave an imprint upon it in whatever way they want.
In her words, “We’re so young. We’re so young. We’re twenty-two years old. We have so much time. … What we have to remember is that we can still do anything. We can change our minds. We can start over. Get a post-bac or try writing for the first time. The notion that it’s too late to do anything is comical. It’s hilarious. We’re graduating college. We’re so young. We can’t, we MUST not lose this sense of possibility because in the end, it’s all we have.”
While powerful in their own right, her sentiments took on special meaning and made national news after reports confirmed Keegan had died over the weekend when the car in which she was riding veered off the road, hit a guardrail, and rolled over twice. Prior to the accident, she had been set to begin work as an editorial assistant at The New Yorker.
Two of the comments posted beneath her piece:
“What a cruel turn of events. I only knew you through your byline and through mutual friends, but through them, you showed yourself as one of the most beautiful people I’ve ever had the privilege to know. The world is less without you, Marina. Rest in peace.”
“I think it’s time for us to remember that the same thing could happen to us. We think we are so young, that we have so much time, but it could all end in a second. She was looking forward to so much, and this was not one them. We should not fear. And we should hold each other while we have them.”
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