Realism And Prejudice In Crash, By Paul Haggis

1287 Words 6 Pages
CRASH: A Realistic Depiction of how Asians are not Prevalent in L.A.
When art attempts to deal with complex and sensitive issues such as racism, the result often unintentionally harbors racist messages or views. This idea rings true for Crash, directed and partially written by Paul Haggis. To the uncritical and uninitiated eye, this film is an emotionally compelling story that paints an honest portrait of the relations between different cultural backgrounds. Upon further examination, however, the viewer begins to realize the traces of racism embedded into the screenplay and filmic choices of the Academy Award winning picture. Asian Americans, who are perhaps the most underrepresented as well as misrepresented group in the film, are examples
…show more content…
This harsh reality is particularly underscored in the scene in which Anthony unintentionally brings in a van filled with illegal immigrants (Cambodian, Vietnamese, who knows?) to the shop owner. Instead of selling the trafficked slaves, Anthony instead drives to Chinatown to liberate them onto the street. Rather than focusing on this novel and interesting piece of information, the film continues to highlight Anthony as a hero, redeeming him of the wrongs he has committed in the past. Like the background of Kim Lee and Choi, the story of the trafficked slaves is left undeveloped. The audience does not know who these immigrants are, why they are in America, what they are going to do now, or how they got there in the first place. They merely serve as a deus ex machina and an excuse for the filmmakers to use more ethnicities in the ‘diverse’ …show more content…
Upon analyzing the scene in which Choi is run over, the viewer can begin to recognize how Asians and their circumstances are often humorously dismissed. The confrontation begins with Peter yelling: “Holy shit, we run over a Chinaman!” After this crash, instead of helping the man from his predicament, they argue profusely (and to the audience humorously) on how he got there: “I don’t know. Maybe the FBI planted him under there to make car-jacking black people look bad in the eyes of the larger community. You got a theory about that too?” This interaction detracts from the main issue at hand (the dying man under the car) to elicit a few laughs in the audience. Choi, when he mutters the few words he can – “help me” – is ultimately dismissed by Anthony: “Shut up! I’m trying to think”. This dialogue builds upon and humorously handles the rivalry Korean Americans and African Americans have amongst one another after the L.A riots. Using Asian characters as a vehicle for humor not only advances the negative stereotypes Asians face, but also turns a blind eye toward the issues Asians face every day in America. The scene involving the illegal immigrants build upon this idea. The serious problem of human trafficking and South-East Asian poverty is dismissed with Anthony saying: “Buy everyone

Related Documents