I am not quite sure what message this movie was supposed to impart on me. In the end I don't think the movie maker knows the answer to that question either...
The short answer would be: Racism is bad. America is Racist.
Leaving it at that would be doing this searing and intense movie a disservice. First off, the acting was superb. Everyone of these characters including the ones played by well-known actors was convincing and real. There was never a dull moment and the script was on point with each passing frame. Even when it seemed to be getting preachy along came a counterpoint that kept things in perspective. Every racial stereotype was represented, examined and blown apart. It was all at once satisfying and infuriating, but mostly it was sad.
For some there was redemption and others - death. No one was untouched by racism and the effects of misunderstanding, including me. You see, that very afternoon on my commute home after a long day at work I found myself uttering ugly remarks out my car window when I passed a fancy and expensive pickup truck decorated as a loud and proud shrine to 'ol Mexico. "Why don't you go back there if it's so great! 'Cause its' not great - it's a shithole!"
I wasn't proud of what I said - but I didn't feel unjustified either. I wondered how I would be received in Mexico City if I drove through town decked out in Red White and Blue...
Bigotry is ugly, but it is also universal and Americans have had to deal with it in a way unlike any country in history. If we all make an effort to teach our children not to repeat the mistakes of the past someday - maybe not in this lifetime - we can have the color blind culture we need.
Don Cheadle, Sandra Bullock, Jennifer Esposito, Brendan Fraser, Larenz Tate, Ludacris, Matt Dillon, Ryan Phillippe, Terrence DaShon Howard, Thandie Newton, Michael Pena, Shaun Toub
Paul Haggis Director
Paul Haggis Screenwriter
Robert Moresco Screenwriter
Cathy Schulman Producer
Don Cheadle Producer
Bob Yari Producer
James Muro Director of Photography
Mark Isham Composer