July 6, 2012
Interpersonal Conflict in Film
Interpersonal conflicts can occur at all levels of communication between people, which is the case with the movie Crash (Haggis, 2004). In this movie there are a number of unhealthy disputes that take place between the actors that never get resolved. The movie is centered on the problems of race and gender that trigger a group of strangers, in the Los Angeles area, to physically and emotionally bump in to each other.
In one situation Graham and Ria are both cops as well as partners plus they are in a personal relationship with each other. The following conversation took place with Graham and Ria in bed:
Graham: [Ria is Latin] Mom, I can't talk right now, I'm having sex with a white woman.
[hangs up, and Ria gets out of bed.]
Graham: What's up, baby, where you going?
Ria: Well, last I checked, I was white - and you were jerking off in the shower.
Graham: Oh, come on. I would have said a Mexican, but I don't think it would have pissed her off so much!
Ria: Okay, here's a little geography lesson. My mother was from Puerto Rico, and my father was from El Salvador and *neither* of those are in Mexico! (Movie, 2004)
Ria is aggravated with Graham’s emotional distance and his tactless attitude about the fact that he is African-American and she is Hispanic although she is of Latin descent. When Graham talks to Ria he is somewhat antagonistic towards her, without any regard for his cruel behavior and how she may respond to it. It is very apparent that both of them feel they are in an inadequate relationship. There is a lot of non-verbal communication between the two of them which can be seen in their body language and there is a lack of eye contact. Additionally, there are cultural perceptions that are very distinct and it changes their way of communicating with one another. Thus, the breakdown of Graham and Ria’s communication leaves them disappointed and frustrated.
References: Brown & Rogers (1991), as cited in Making Connections. Understanding Interpersonal Communication. https://content.ashford.edu/books/AUCOM200.11.1/sections/sec9.1 Haggis, P. (Director). (2004). Crash [Film]. Los Angeles: Bob Yari Productions Movie-Quotes, Crash (2004). Retrieved from: http://movie-quotes.blogspot.com/2005/08/movie-quotes-crash-2004.html Sole, K. (2011). Making Connections. Understanding Interpersonal Communication. https://content.ashford.edu/books/AUCOM200.11.1/sections/sec8.5