Film Analysis: Crash Directed by Paul Haggis

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Crash is a crime-drama film directed by Paul Haggis. It is a real-life incident based story about racial and social tensions in lives of people of Los Angeles. In the movie, various characters didn’t knew each other, but their lives met without their intention. This carried out situation where a decision has to be made. The movie points towards the importance of coming out of your comfort zone to be in the lives of other people to become more like them. Looking at the story with sociological perspective, following are some of the concepts that explains the story in a better way. Crash demonstrates the Thomas Theorem, The Interactionist Perspective, Ethnocentrism, Racial Inequality, and many more. Further we will talk about how the concepts are related to the story.


The Thomas Theorem is a theory of sociology which was formulated by William Thomas and Dorothy Thomas. Basically, this theorem tells us that if we believe that the situations are real, they become real to us. Our own subjective reality becomes our objective reality. Which follows that if we believe certain things about an individual, they begin acting in just that way. According to me, the best example of the Thomas theorem in the movie Crash was when Jean Cabot grips her purse when passing by those two young black guys Anthony and Peter across the street. She thinks that black people are a threat. Her subjective reality becomes real in a moment when the two young black men carjacks them. Another example would be that we expect Arabs to be violent terrorists. Farhad is not even Arab, he is from Persia, but whatever the shop owner expects from him, he ultimately gets when Farhad shoots the little girl. Farhad believes the man (locksmith) is ripping...

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...e that makes us both laugh and cry at almost the same time. When we are laughing, we must question the underlying sociological concepts that makes us laugh. Are we laughing at those racist jokes because of our own ethnocentrism? Are we as guilty as Jean Cabot at making our own realities our truths? Do we have views about certain groups of people and basically make them come true for ourselves? Crash questions us for all of these things. This movie successfully forces viewers to address their own cultural backgrounds and their experiences with those of other races. After all, when it comes to racial equality, it should not be ignored. Especially in a city like Los Angeles, we never know when will the truth crash into us and we will be forced to face who we are through someone else’s eyes, no matter how difficult it is to take a look inside and outside of ourselves.

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