I can't remember the last time a movie has left me as emotionally drained as I feel right now.
I missed all the hype the first time around, and I was one of the few people on the planet who first heard about the movie when it won the Oscar for Best Picture. But today, I sat down alone, first thing in the morning, and watched "Crash".
That was 2 hours ago, but I feel like I've run a marathon.
Living in Canada, I guess, has sheltered me from a lot of the racial discrimination and unfounded hatred people experience elsewhere as an everyday occurrence. Or, maybe the fact the I'm Caucasian, living in a predominantly Caucasian society has blinded me to harsh realities of the world. Whatever the cause, and no matter how much I thought I "knew" about racial tension from TV and other media, I wasn't prepared for "Crash".
All those people, so tangled up together in a web of hate, distrust, suspicion, and stereotypes, yet never touching, never understanding, never seeing each other for what we all are... People. Just people.
I'm glad that the movie wasn't preachy... I'm glad that it showed the situations, emotions, and inner turmoil of each character as they came face-to-face with the realities of who they are... I'm glad that it let me experience the pain, the struggle, and the eventual enlightenment, without spoon-feeding me moral platitudes like some ABC After School Special. For a change, Hollywood did it right.
If you've seen "Crash", you'll understand why I, with a 6-year old daughter of my own, was brought to tears late in the movie by the scene with the Hispanic father and daughter... If you haven't, and especially if you are a parent, make sure you've got a box of tissue handy.
You've been warned.