Thursday, March 09, 2006

Crash

I watched Crash last night, and I loved it. I thought they did a great job of portraying the characters with complexity and contradictions. I'm embarrassed to admit the number of racist individuals I've encountered in my life. I thought the white characters in the film were very accurate, and reminded me of people I've known and loved.

This is my beef with the film, and I think it's simply a blind spot, reminding us that even screenwriters are part of the system of racism, I thought that the Persian man was portrayed as one-dimensional, angry, and irrational. Through most of the film the audience struggles to see any reason behind his behavior and decisions, and I often felt frustrated. I think that this type of portrayal is an example of how easy it is in a post-9/11 world to degrade the Muslim community without anyone even noticing. It really bothered me because this is the type of film that has an opportunity to really get people thinking about their stereotypes, and it simply reinforces the image of the crazed Islamic fanatic from the Middle East.

I'm taking a Muslim Women's Writing class this semester, and without fail, every single time I tell someone what I'm taking, they say, "Muslim women's writing, I'm surprised there's much of that out there to read." Our view of the Muslim world is so static and one-dimensional. It's such a diverse and varied society, and we force labels upon it without ever trying to understand more deeply, because it's easier.

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