What did I learn from the movie “Crash? ” A lot. One lesson I learned is not to judge a book by its cover. For example, in the movie, Sandra Bullock’s character was afraid of and distrustful of her Latino locksmith because he was bald and had tattoos. She assumed he was in a gang and would sell copies of her keys to his gang friends so they could come back and rob her. In reality, the locksmith was a peaceful, loving, kind, and gentle father and husband. I probably would be a little afraid of someone who looks like him myself.
My goal in this area will be to not judge by appearances so much.Instead, I will try to get to know the person who intimidates me. I will probably try this in a public place. I don’t need to be foolish about it. Another lesson I learned is you never know what someone is going through.
For example, Matt Dillon’s character had an ailing father. Don Cheadle’s character had an alcoholic mother because of her other son who was a criminal. What this means for me is just because someone looks like they are successful and have it all together doesn’t mean they don’t have problems you don’t know about. You may have more in common than you think.I will try to get to know people better instead of comparing myself to those I view as successful.
You never know when you will run into someone again so be careful how you treat people. Treat everyone with kindness and respect. When Matt Dillon’s character takes advantage of the wife of the African American couple he pulls over one night with his partner, he never expects to see her again. Well, the very next day, she is caught in a dangerous car wreck. She is hanging upside down in her upside down car which is leaking gasoline and could explode at any moment.Matt’s character comes upon this scene and he has to save her.
At first, she doesn’t want him to touch her. Then he says he has to get her out of there because a fire could start. She calms down enough to let him work on getting her out of the car. Another car explodes nearby and there is a trail of gasoline between the two cars. His cop friends pull him out of the car before it explodes but he goes back in to save the woman and they both escape in the nick of time before the car explodes. A final lesson is that people may have reasons for their prejudices.
Does this make it right? No but it makes it understandable. Matt Dillon’s father in the movie had a company where he employed several African Americans. Over time, laws were passed favoring minority business owners. Well, since his father is Caucasian, he didn’t qualify for these government contracts or preferences so he lost his business, his wife, and his home. I can see where Matt Dillon’s character would blame the African Americans for these losses in his father’s life and therefore treat this population badly as a means of revenge.Should I automatically judge someone who is prejudiced? No, maybe instead I should try to find out their story and why they feel the way they do.
Maybe they have reasons for believing and feeling as they do. Maybe we can talk and come to a new understanding of the situation. There is always more to the story than what meets the eye. By implementing these lessons from the movie, I think I can become a more competent intercultural communicator. We can learn a lot from each other if we just take the time to do so.