Crash is a 2004 American drama film co-written, produced, and directed by Paul Haggis. The film is about racial and social tensions in Los Angeles, California. A self-described “passion piece” for Haggis, Crash was inspired by a real life incident in which his Porsche car was carjacked outside a video store on Wilshire Boulevard in 1991. It won three Oscars: Best Picture, Best Original Screenplay and Best Editing in 2005 at the 78th Academy Awards.
Several characters’ stories interweave during two days in Los Angeles: a black detective estranged from his mother; his criminal younger brother and gang associate; the white District Attorney and his irritated and pampered wife; a racist white police officer who disgusts his more idealistic younger partner; an African American Hollywood director and his wife who must deal with the officer; a Persian-immigrant father who is wary of others; and a Hispanic locksmith. The film differs from many other films about racism in its rather impartial approach to the issue. Rather than separating the characters into victims and offenders, victims of racism are often shown to be racist themselves in different contexts and situations. Also, racist remarks and actions are often shown to stem from ignorance and misconception rather than a malicious personality.