I am certain that everybody who reads this has seen the two movies, but I wonder how many of you have thought about all types of stereotypes and racism that exist in the two and the way these were treated by the directors. When looking deeper at the two movies and thinking about this issue, I observed that there were at least three types of stereotypes or racism dealt with in both movies:white and black, white and the others and immigrant and immigrant.
In the first type of racism, white and black, we can immediately see that one of the main issues is related to the jobs. White consider that black people steal their jobs, black clergy do not take care of the white people’s needs. The second type of racism, white and the others is treated differently in the two movies and it is presented as fear about everything that is different, hate because the government spends too much money with immigrants and the supremacy of the whites.
Regarding the relationships established between immigrants, the tendency would be to believe that, because they share common experience as foreigners, they would get along better. However, in the movie “Crash” this belief is strongly and abruptly demolished. First of all, when two detectives – Graham and Ria – hit the Asian driver, Ria gets very angry and begins talking with irony and in a racist manner to that woman. The same happens with the Asian woman, who actually is the first to attack verbally:
Asian: “She do this! […] Mexicans no know how to drive. She too fast.”
Ria: “I’m sorry you no see my lights. […] maybe you see over steering wheel, you too!”
Nevertheless, even if the beginning of the movie is pessimistic, its ending – with view to these kind of relations – is optimistic. Anthony stole a van and found in it a bunch of “chinamen”. As he didn’t know what to do with them, he found himself facing two alternatives: to let them be sold as slaves or to free them. He chose the second variant, giving the people watching the film a little bit of hope in a change for the better.
These two movies “American History X” and “Crash” had a great impact on the public from various reasons, but especially because they appeal to the modern viewer: both movies are set in modern times, in the same city, Los Angeles, California, and share common views upon racism.
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by Theo Grigore