Study Guide

Crash Principles

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Crash was filmed in 2004, when not everyone had a GPS to tell them where to go. No wonder everyone is so confused: they don't have a moral compass telling them where to go. With smartphones, we all have a moral compass. It tells us that two wrongs don't make a right, but three rights do make a left. It lets us know when we've gone too far and need to make a U-turn to correct our path. And it speaks in a charming British accident.

Oh, wait. The compass on our GPS isn't the same as a moral compass? Hmm. Well, we imagine that Apple will have an app for universal morality sooner or later, but until then, we'll have to make do with our instincts and remember that morality is pretty relative. It differs from person to person.

Questions About Principles

  1. Why doesn't Officer Hanson want to be Officer Ryan's partner? How do their morals differ? Do the other cops share Hanson's principles, or Ryan's?
  2. What are Anthony's principles? Would you call his ideas principles? How do his ideas differ from Peter's? Why do they hang out together if they have different moral values and ideas?
  3. Is Rick Cabot a principled DA? Would you vote for him?
  4. What do you make of the decision Waters makes at the end to turn in the corrupt cop? Does he compromise his principles? How does he feel about doing this?

Chew on This

Morals and principles aren't universal. Rick Cabot and Peter Waters, for example, have different principles, and neither is more right than the other.

Jean Cabot changes her principles during the movie. She becomes less isolated and decides to reach out to people she sees as true friends, regardless of race.

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