Wednesday, March 08, 2006


Last night was date night which ended with a viewing of "Crash". As embarrasing as it may seem, we are quite behind in the movie viewing...

My wife thought it was a great movie. I was more reserved in my opinion. I thought the movie was well crafted, although I felt it wasn't very original in many ways. It reminded me of "Magnolia" and "Pulp Fiction" in its use of multiple plotlines weaving together, and time discontinuities.

My biggest problem with it was the feeling that I was watching agitprop. It used cheap cinematic effects and plot twists to force me to feel certain ways, kinda like a thriller movie which will insert a loud noise and a sudden cut to something jumping out at you at the end of a long shot just to scare the crap out of you, because you can't help it - it is just biology at that point.

It is interesting that many people confuse racism with racial and ethnic prejudice. These are not the same thing and it is important to note the difference between the two as well as their interdependency. Racism is an institutionalized policy of discrimination and oppression. Prejudice is a human condition. Prejudice leads to racism. But in a non-racist society one can still find prejudice. Both are wrong, but one can be solved through legislation, the other through education and social action.

Maybe at some point, I will post something getting deeper into the ideas of cultural prejudices and why all of us have blood on our hands.


Blogger Irina Tsukerman said...

I liked "Crash", but share some of your reservations.

However, I thought "Crash" was more sophisticated from directorial point of view than "Magnolia", and its subject matter was more compelling than "Pulp Fiction".

I thought that the storyline involving Matt Dillon's character was by far the best, since it showed the complexity of our perception of others.

March 08, 2006 9:56 PM  
Blogger Ezzie said...

I think the first 2 minutes of the movie set a perfect tone: People are prejudiced - wrongly - and therefore this leads to racism and bias. Those being prejudiced, however, sometimes help to reinforce those prejudices through their actions. Which is more wrong?

March 09, 2006 12:23 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I loved the movie, even though it had an R rating and was hard to watch in several places. It was the theme that I loved. To me it drove home the teaching we have to judge another favorably.

March 09, 2006 7:29 AM  
Blogger e-kvetcher said...

I.T.: It's been a while since I've seen "Magnolia". If I recall, that movie didn't really tie things in very well at the end - I felt like the director just ran out of time.


You're right. It sure is a complex little Gordian knot. This "cycle" is something we see not just in racial prejudice, but also religious strife or even political conflicts. It is in our nature to draw boundaries between those like us and those not like us and generalize behavior based on these distinctions.

March 09, 2006 8:07 AM  
Blogger e-kvetcher said...

Yet another coincidence... For this post, I used an old Soviet poster made in traditional agitprop style.

I was on the train to work this morning and I wound up sitting next to some guy working on some type of Photoshop document on his laptop. I looked closer and discovered that he was editing some kind of old Soviet poster, just like the one that I just put up on my post. Furthermore, the guy apparently works in the same place that I do since we walked in together from the train station. No, I don't work for a place that does anything with graphics, especially old Soviet posters!

OK. So not big theological implications of this coincidence, but once again, how likely was this to happen?

March 09, 2006 9:51 AM  
Blogger Irina Tsukerman said...

That's just creepy. Where're we headed?!

March 09, 2006 11:18 AM  

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