I went to see Crash at the Prince Charles Cinema with Fiona last Friday. It was a bit of a random idea - we were walking past - but we were delighted to discover that we could see that film for just £1 each. This is apparently a regular all-day Friday special price. I always knew the Prince Charles Cinema was cheap (it's normally £3/4), but this was ridiculous. Needless to say, it sold out, which is something I haven't experienced in a cinema for a long time.
The film itself was also truly excellent. Crash shows you two days in Los Angeles, where we see racism affecting numerous characters as their lives intertwine. To try to do any more plot summary would be foolish - you just have to watch and experience it for yourself.
What makes the film so brilliant is that it's not just about racism and how ugly it is, instead the film takes the whole culture of racism and asks who, what, why and how. Few of the characters in the film fit into the hollywood good/evil paradigm, instead they all have motivations, fears, reasons for their actions - and the awkwardness of wondering whether characters should be forgiven for their actions or not is complex and thought provoking.
One of the conclusions that struck me from the film was just how damaging guns can be. We see many situations of conflict in the film which are immedietly intensified when a character pulls out a gun. Immedietly the emotions run high - people are frightened, angry, and don't think straight. I've always said that guns are wrong because they make it too easy. If people have to get into heated arguments instead - even if it turns to fisticuffs - then at least there's a way out, and situations are reversible and reconcilable.
For all these reasons and more, Crash is an amazing film. In the packed cinema I watched it in, you could feel the audience being engaged from start to finish, as we laughed with the jokes and reeled at the horrors. It's an emotional ride, but a fulfilling and thought-stimulating one.
Watch this film.