Universal Pain In The Cinematic Tower Of Babel

2016 Words9 Pages
Universal Pain and the demonization of the other.

Much like Babel, the film Crash presents characters with seemingly separate lives but end up being linked in some way. This intersection is an attempt to demonstrate how people can be separated by many things but are united by pain. The title Babel is an allusion to the Biblical story of how God made people start speaking different languages so that they would not be able to continue building a tower so tall that they would consider themselves greater than God. By making this the title, Iñárritu is creating a sort of “cinematic tower of Babel” with a foundation of a “universal language” to unite those all over the globe (Shaw 23). Although the characters are from different walks of life, their live are intersected through suffering. This is an admirable sentiment; however, this idea of universal pain can be problematic. Using the films Crash and Babel as well some of the the films covered in the course, this essay will attempt to argue how the idea of universal pain can be toxic.
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This idea can be seen in Rendition (2007)where Anwar is as American as he can possibly be. He is highly educated, in compliance with the standard, and is married to an American woman. Most of the films dealt with in this course have the same trend where the person of colour is educated and is involved with a white American. In the film the Reluctant Fundamentalist (2012), there is the same kind of checklist for the perceived “other” to fullfill: educated and involved with a white woman. In Babel it is almost as though being associated with a white person is the best thing one do in order to survive, the John’s nanny has to specify that the children she is with are American on order to get
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