Subject Material

Crash - Working with the Film

Published: 16.03.2011, Updated: 04.03.2017
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Why do we think in stereotypes? Are all stereotypes negative? How do stereotypes originate? What is the difference between stereotypes and prejudices? After having watched the film ask yourself these questions once again. Has your answer changed any?

Crash Film PosterCrash Film Poster

About the Film

Crash, produced in 2006, was awarded an Oscar for best film and best original script. During a 36-hour time frame, you follow the lives of a Mexican locksmith, an African-American producer and his wife, two car-jackers, a Persian store owner, a Korean couple, a District Attorney and his wife, and two police officers. In this powerful and realistic drama, these total strangers meet and their lives change forever. The film depicts a collision between rich and poor, black and white, thieves and lawmakers, immigrants and culture. As the story unfolds, we learn the true meaning of prejudice, racism and stereotyping.  Eventually we might end up taking a closer look at our own lives and values.

 

Tasks and Activities

Vocabulary

Crash Vocabulary - Drag and Drop 

 

Setting

  1. In which major city does the story take place? How does the choice of an urban setting contribute to the unfolding of the plot?
  2. How does the timespan contribute to the suspense in the story?
  3. Could the same story take place in any other parts of the world? Where and why?

Structure

  1. What event occurs both at the start of the film and at the end?
  2. Does the story move forward in time from the opening scene?
  3. The film is based on interlocking stories. Give examples of how the characters and their stories are connected.
  4. Each story has a climatic event. Which ones stand out most clearly in your mind?
  5. Often a climax leads to a resolution/closure. Which stories are resolved and which have only partial closure?

Character

  1. Which characters do you like the best and why?
  2. A "redeeming" character is one who makes good again, restores honor. Which character(s) do you feel redeems himself/herself and why?
  3. Often Hollywood films have a hero and a villain. The two police officers are portrayed as good cop/bad cop. However, their story takes an unexpected turn. Discuss the changes and keep in mind that one cop is a rookie and one a veteran.

Symbols

  1. What is the weather like? What do you think the weather changes might symbolize?
  2. A small statue links the story together. In whose cars is the statue placed?  What might this symbolize?
  3. One of the most significant scenes depicts a car chase. It ends up in a yard, and we recognize an inflated Santa Claus and a nativity scene painted on the garage door. How would you interpret this scene?
  4. Can you think of any other symbols in the story?

Message

  1. What message(s) do you feel the film sends to its viewers? Consider both social and cultural issues.

Discussion Questions

You will find discussion questions related to Crash here: Crash - Discussion Questions 

 

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