COM 200 Interpersonal Communicati
November 06, 2011
The Film Crash
In the 2004 film Crash (Haggis), several conflicts are explored between people living in a racially indicted city. While the conflicts occur at many levels between many people throughout the film, the most unproductive to watch as the viewer is the conflict between Daniel Ruiz, the locksmith, and Farhad, the shop owner. The conflict escalates as communication between the two breaks down over a language barrier. In due course, we see the conflict increase to the point that one man feels his only alternative is armed retaliation against the other. The conflict begins as Daniel responds to a locksmith call at Farhad’s shop. Daniel replaces a broken lock on the shop’s back door, but tries to explain to Farhad that the door itself is the problem, not the lock. Farhad’s English is not fluent, and he does not understand Daniel to begin with, but decides after interpreting Daniel’s warning about the lock that Daniel is trying to cheat him. The encounter becomes a heated argument as Farhad refuses to pay for a door not fixed while Daniel explains that he only fixes locks, not doors. The ultimate result being the unfixed lock leaves the shop exposed to thieves who ransack the place leaving Farhad without an income source for his family. Farhad decides the only justice is to gun down Ruiz for the loss and believes he caused by not fixing the door. Examining how the conflict might have been resolved, it’s important to look at the communication styles of each participant. When we first see Daniel earlier in the film, he is being verbally disrespected by a rich and racist client who believes he is untrustworthy, and possibly a gang member. As this scene unfolds, we see Daniel finishing the locksmithing job quietly. Researcher Kathy Sole might initially classify him as having a passive or submissive communication style (Sole, 2010, sec 9.4 para 3). Before leaving the...