Crash is an ensemble drama film released in 2004 and co-written by producer-director Paul Haggis. The film is about social and racial tension in Los Angeles, California. Haggis described this film as his "passion piece" as it was inspired by a real-life incident; his Porsche was carjacked whilst parked outside a video store on Wilshire Boulevard in 1991.
Several characters' stories intertwine during a myopic documentation of two days in Los Angeles; an African American detective estranged from his mother; his younger brother, a criminal with gang affiliations; the district attorney with a spoiled, irritable wife; a racist police officer and his young partner who is repelled by his attitude; a Hollywood director and his wife; Persian immigrant father who innately distrusts others; a hard-working family man, a locksmith. Unlike other films dealing with the subject of racism the film does not judge or separate the characters into victims and perpetrators but demonstrates that victims are also often prejudiced themselves on certain situations. Racist remarks and actions are shown as stemming from ignorance rather than evil.
The film was made on an exceptionally low budget with Haggis filming in his own home and using his car and other crew cars in parts of the film. Although it made back more than seven times its budget this movie was the lowest grossing film to win Best Picture since The Last Emperor in 1987. The film received many positive reviews but its Academy Award success was attributed to a reluctance to give accolades to Brokeback Mountain, the more controversial film with a nomination.
The film stars Sandra Bullick, Don Cheadle, Matt Dillon and Thandie Newton with Dillon's performance being awarded and praised highly; he received an Academy Award, Golden Globe, Screen Actors Guild and BAFTA awards for his role of Sergeant John Ryan.