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April 18, 2006

Rediscovering the Comparison Paper: Intolerance in Two Very Different Films

Source: http://www.sonoma.edu/users/s/steiner/img/marinij_3.jpg

The film Process B-7185 by Bernard Offen and the academy award winning Hollywood production Crash elicited so many responses (see HERE for Process and HERE for Crash) that I felt it deserved another devoted blog entry. This difference about this entry, however, is how similar thematic developments in both (one was a historical auto-biography, the other a work of fiction) diverged and brought understanding to sensitive issues such as racism, intolerance, hate and hate-crimes (as opposed to war-crimes, for example). Some of my students did a wonderful job comparison writing exercises involving subject matter from both films . . .

Rather than give another long diatribe on the inner workings of both films here, please have a look at what the writing students came up with below.

Feel free to leave your own comments on either the two films referenced or the student's ideas themselves below.


Dr. Hobbs

*Read more English-Blog Film Reviews HERE!


To see other English-Blog entries on the subject of Holocaust Studies, please click HERE

Posted by lhobbs at April 18, 2006 10:10 PM

Readers' Comments:

Racism's Effects on Society: Then and Now

"Like an unchecked cancer, hate corrodes the personality and eats away its vital unity. Hate destroys a man's sense of values and his objectivity. It causes him to describe the beautiful as ugly and the ugly as beautiful, and to confuse the true with the false, and the false with the true." (Martin Luther King, Jr.) Racism is the belief in the superiority of a particular race, and projecting antagonism toward other races. Two films that portrayed these ideas were; Process B-7815 and Crash, which provided similarities in differences between two different eras.

The first film, Process B-7815, is a documentary based on Bernard Offen's life living through and coping with the Holocaust. He tells stories he witnessed while his Jewish community fell to the Nazi power. The film traces through Offen's tragic life portraying his reactions and his steps toward recovery from the genocide of his people. The second film indicated is Crash, which displays racist situations, hate crimes, and homicides in modern society. The film follows characters through their everyday life and the encounters they face dealing with racist ridicule. Both of these films relay messages of the dangers racism involves and what is destroyed through it.

The Jewish people were persecuted because of the simple fact that they were Jewish. Just like in the modern world, people are killed just because they are from a different background, or are a different race. The way racism is displayed in both films is through the use of examples. Offen describes what he has witnessed during the Holocaust, hoping to inform the public and creating second generation witnesses. One the main reasons he has documented his life is for the following generations to become informed of the Holocausts severity. By spreading his story he is allowing people to see the tragedy he is a survivor of. Crash was also intended to inform the public on racism in today's society. The film shows examples of different people's lives and how they are interrupted and even destroyed by racism. By using examples of racist actions the public is getting a glimpse of reality, which may impact their opinions and beliefs. "What we believe is what we created," is a statement Offen said during the end of his documentary. If people believe in racism, they will create it.

From what Offen witnessed during the Holocaust, he developed an answer to the question he had been asking himself practically his entire life. Who is capable of committing such atrocities? His answer was simple, anyone. In the film Crash, it is evident when an unthreatening white character falls ignorant and kills an innocent black man because he looked like he was dangerous. Unfortunately, Offen lived through genocide where millions of people fell because of the ignorance of a massive group of people.

In modern society people don't have to experience what Offen went through. Although there is still racism, it is not to the extent that it was over a half a century ago. The Nazi party was able to liquidate millions and millions of people for the simple fact that they were Jewish. What Offen went through is nothing compared to today's hate crimes. Crash shows that racism is apart of crime in today's society, and sometimes results in a single person being killed at one time. The film also shows that racism does not always result in the death of an individual. Another example is the way a bitter cop treats African Americans with disdain and distrust, but never came close to killing them. Although in Process B-7815, Offen describes the way the Nazis executed dozens of people at one time.

The majority of each film had different racial targets. The Holocaust mainly pinpointed the Jewish race, although others were killed as well, it was not as widespread as the racism displayed in Crash. Crash shows that there are prejudices developed among every race; African American, Hispanic, Chinese, White, and many others. The diversity of the hate crimes committed in the film, Crash, was different from the hate crimes during the Holocaust because they were not carried out by a collective organization targeting a specific race. In the modern world there are too many sides to choose and everyone has a different opinion, but collectively horrible things could happen.

Although there were so many killings during the Holocaust, few Nazis were persecuted for their actions. Of course it took a war to stop it and many Nazi lives were lost in their defeat, but there was no judicial response for the way the Nazis killed and treated human beings. Offen describes his hatred he held against Germany, and it took a lot of healing before he could even visit the country. The film Crash, on the other hand, has a lot to do with the judicial system. The ways the cops and criminals act they know that there are repercussions for their actions. Life doesn't just go on after you've killed someone; there are judicial actions that will eventually take place when these criminals are caught. For the Nazis, their lives just continued without any judicial consequence.

Hatred is the reason racism exists; this can be determined after watching the films Process B-7815 and Crash. Although one film was a documentary on the Holocaust and the other was a Hollywood production meant to entertain, both of the films display similarities. The messages of the film were intended to inform the public through the examples of Offen's life and the racist situations in Crash. On the contrary, one films subject matter contained a genocide while the other contained homicide. One may be left with the thought of how it could be possible for a human being could hold such hatred. It is a question Offen debated, and he came to the conclusion that anyone is capable.

~Samantha V.

Posted by: Samantha V. at April 18, 2006 11:36 PM

Dissimilarities and Eye-opening Connections between Process B-7815 and Crash

A very enlightening song says that "time goes by so slowly, and time can do so much". For those who are in the films Process B-7815 and Crash, time goes by slowly, yet races them through changes which will soon add to their identity as time goes further down the line. Each person involved had their own specific process or processes involved with these changes. Some changes were more life-altering than others, and some required a higher level of mental stamina. With either case, the character is expected to take their experiences and changes as they come and realize that they are being molded into who they are meant to be.

One main connection that can be made between these two films was that of discrimination. In Crash, the main conflicts had to do with racial issues between all races throughout the world. In Process B-7815, those who practiced the Jewish faith were not seen as descendants of white Pole's, but were regarded as a race all their own. Although the aforementioned use of "racism" is not only morally wrong, but also an incorrect definition, the simple connections of discrimination and prejudices towards other races are just two of the many ways these two films are alike.

The dictionary defines racism as "the belief that race accounts for differences in human character or ability and that a particular race is superior to others". This uncalled-for superiority complex harbored by nearly every human being can be considered to have stemmed from a level of personal isolation or horrific past experiences. Bernard Offen of Process B-7815 does not speak very highly of the Roman Catholic religion and those who enforce their strict rules upon faith followers. From his past experiences in concentration camps he has the unintentional stereotype burned into his brain that many of that particular faith are alike. His reasoning is simple; these concentration camps were created by a select few who followed the faith of Roman Catholicism. As mentioned before, prejudices against religious sects are often mistaken, and each religion is thought of as its own "race".

In Crash, the past experiences of characters molded their future actions and behaviors. For example, Officer Ryan, who had been a cop for over 10 years, has outwardly admitted to his partner, Officer Hanson, that he has seen and experienced some very trying times in his career as a law enforcer. He tells Officer Hanson not to be too sure of knowing who he is as a person. This happened after a racial issue during a "routine traffic stop" between Officer Ryan and a black couple. The event made the very disgusted Officer Hanson speak out about Officer Ryan's actions to his chief and request a new partner. Once Officer Ryan got word of it, he advised Officer Hanson with the statement of self-discovery mentioned above. Later in the movie, Officer Hanson is involved in a violent standoff between himself and two other partners and a black man. The hostile nature of the man proved to change Officer Hanson's mindset towards African Americans when he shot an innocent young black man who just wanted a ride home. Clearly shaken by his crude judgment, Officer Hanson disposed of the body in a field and set his car ablaze.

Although there are many more similarities, the differences are still quite evident. In Process B-7815, Bernard Offen is filming a documentary of his present life as he tells his story of being a survivor of the concentration camps. This documentation was of the Holocaust. The Holocaust was a mass genocide of millions of those who practiced the Jewish faith, as well as other minorities whom Adolf Hitler believed had no right to be alive. Bernard's story is true, and he is an honest witness and victim to the pain and horror that the Holocaust created. This is, of course, one way in which the film on Bernard's experiences differs from that of Crash.

Although Crash is also based on the idea of past and present experiences rooted by racial issues, it is merely a film looking to send out a message as well as receive high ratings and hefty cash amounts. In the movie, the only mass genocide presented is that of the entire human race. The message conveyed is that human insecurities and their fears of the unknown devour themselves, in turn making racism conquer all. This movie is simply put as good and evil in a head to head match. Sadly, this has been going on for centuries, and in Crash, evil is oftentimes the winner. Along with world wide genocide being a factor, common racial issues are also introduced. In Bernard's film, not much was mentioned of all races. It was mainly about religions and hatred between different religious sects. In Crash, every race that is commonly under minded is addressed.

In the end, both films portrayed events and circumstances affecting humans in a negative way, yet changing them for the greater good in the long run. They both shed some light on the fact that humans are the way they are because of the actions and behaviors carried out by all. Successfully surviving life on earth is an accomplishment in itself, but also the world must not forget that everyone is a link in a chain reaction. Life is a process, and a selfish gain for one could mean a painful loss for another.

~Missy Z.

Posted by: Missy Z. at April 18, 2006 11:39 PM

Anyone Can Do It

In the films Process B-7815 and Crash, one cannot imagine how they can be similar to each other. While one film deals with the documentary of their experience and suffrage of being a part of the holocaust, the other deals with the everyday happenings of racial discrimination, prejudice and stereotypes. Each motion picture, however, shows people kill one another and it does not matter who they are. It also shows that crimes can be committed by someone that is least expected to do such a thing, because of how they are seen by the people they know or the people that they are in contact with daily. Through the movies Process B-7815 and Crash, it is clearly evident that anyone is capable of committing a crime whether it happened many years ago or is still occurring recently and many are suffering from it.

Process B-7815 is a documentary on the life of a man named Bernard Offen who lived during the Holocaust. He was a Jewish man who lived in Poland and was forced, along with the rest of his family, into concentrations camps. He lost the majority of his family, because they were killed or taken away from him as a young child. Growing up, Offen had to do many things in order to survive during the Holocaust, and even at one point, he had to sneak into a concentration camp, because there was nowhere else to go. He escaped death many times, such as having to look at a German officer's shoes instead of his face.

Crash, Hollywood film production, was about the lives of several different people who were all very diverse from one another, but were connected to one another by a series of accidents and crashes. It was about the lives of two thieving young African American men, a district attorney of Los Angeles, a Persian family, an African American detective with a drugged up mother, a Hispanic locksmith, and many more. Even though these films are very different from each other in the experiences, they do have something in common.

To begin with, Bernard Offen from the documentary Process B-7815 stated that he believes that anyone is capable of committing a crime. He believes this, because while he was living during the time of the Holocaust, German officers took him captive. The only reason why the German officers did this was solely on the fact that Offen and his family was Jewish. The fact that Offen was born in Poland and was the same as any other Polish person did not matter to the German Nazis. During the holocaust, the German officers chose to be ruled under Adolph Hitler, therefore, by their own choice, the officers decided, by their own free will, to kill innocent people. They chose to kill the millions of Jewish people, because of their race, consequently proving Bernard Offen's hypothesis to be correct.

In Crash, Offen's hypothesis is also proven true. Even though Crash is not a true story, it is accurate in the fact that racial discrimination is an everyday occurrence despite the fact that it is the twenty first century. Throughout the film, stereotypes and prejudice is a big issue, and it becomes the reason why so many crimes are committed. One crime that occurs is when the District Attorney of Los Angeles, Rick, framed a Caucasian detective, who had shot another African American detective, because Rick wanted to look good in the black community. Rick had consequently put an innocent man into prison just so that his reputation would look good.

Another crime that was committed was when a young officer, Ryan, shot and killed an innocent young African American man named Peter. After the officer picked up the cold and lonesome hitchhiker, Peter offended Officer Ryan, because Peter had laughed at Officer Ryan's choice of music, which was country music. Then, when Peter saw that Officer Ryan had the same Saint Christopher statue that he had, Peter laughed again, which made the officer tell Peter to get out of his car. When Peter went to go show the officer that he had the same statue, Officer Ryan shot him, because he thought that Peter was pulling out a gun. Officer Ryan had immediately thought that Peter was a criminal and that since he was a young African American man, he would carry a gun around with him. Officer Ryan was completely wrong and had ended up killing someone innocent. This verifies that Bernard Offen was correct. Just because someone may be in a superior position than the average citizen, it is still possible for him or her to commit a crime. It does not matter who the person is, what they do for a living, or even how they grew up; it is possible for anyone to be capable of committing a crime.

Many people are still suffering from what has happened and what is still happening now. The generations that lived through the holocaust and are still alive are still going through the pain of what had happened to them, because it is not something that could easily be forgotten. There are always reminders in the world, whether it is on the television or in the newspaper. People suffer from racial discrimination all the time, which is still happening today. Prejudice can easily be seen on the streets, in the movies, on the television, and next door to where one may live. Even though times have changed, people do not, thus, making everyone suffer altogether.

~Linda M.

Posted by: Linda M. at April 18, 2006 11:58 PM

Likenesses and Differences: The Deeper Levels of Process B-7815 vs. Crash

At times it is easier for people to relate to each other using similar experiences which they have encountered. However, people’s lives can also differ dramatically due to the various events that they may come across which can alter their beliefs. There are many similarities between the film Crash and Bernard Offen’s documentary, Process B-7815, for instance, the acts of hate, the processes, and justification of these acts. Along with similarities, both films have their differences in that they differ in time, reason, and movie type.

Both the movie and the documentary express many hateful acts against different groups of people. In Process B-7815, the Nazis show their hatred for the Jews as well as other minorities by killing as many of the Jewish communities as possible. But, for the few lucky souls like Bernard, a person who survived the Holocaust, the Nazi’s hate scarred him for the rest of his life. A similar, less dramatic, form of hate was portrayed in the film Crash. This film showed the lives of different races and ethnicities in the largely populated city of Los Angeles. Throughout the film, hate was expressed through racism against African Americans, Caucasians, Arabians, and Hispanics. There were also a number of people that were being stereotyped, which means an oversimplified image of a person or group. For example, a person considering a man to be affiliated with a gang because of his shaved head and tattooing is stereotyping.

Crash and Process-B-7815 are both based on different processes. Bernard succeeded to survive through five different concentration camps, this including escaping from one just to sneak into another. He then had to deal with the fact that fifty of his family members were brutally killed. Once he was free from the Nazis he was required to absorb everything he has been through and try to cope with the fact that he was still alive along with two of his brothers. The film Crash also expressed a process in a few different ways. There were two main police officers in the film, Officer Ryan was prejudice against African Americans and his partner, Officer Hanson, was not. During the film, Officer Hanson had a dispute with an African American that was being very rude to him. Later, Officer Hanson picked up a hitchhiker who happened to be African American as the young man reached in his pocket to show that he carried around the same statue of a saint, Officer Hanson shot him because he assumed the hitchhiker was going to act like the man he fought with earlier. As Officer Hanson’s opinions changed, so did his partner Officer Ryan. Earlier in the film, Officer Ryan sexually molested an African American woman. The same woman was in an automobile accident a few days later and was trapped in her car. The first person at the scene was Officer Ryan and despite his racism, he risked his own life to save the woman from the vehicle. Saving the woman showed the process the officer went through to become neutral to the worlds different races.

Both of these videos showed examples of justification. Bernard has gone back to Poland for the last ten years in order to tell his story to others. The documentary was formed by a video of Bernard giving a group the tour of the different concentration camps and infirmaries. By going back to where things all began Bernard was able to receive a sense of closure. The same goes for the character “Chris” in the film Crash. In the beginning of the film, Chris was carjacking Caucasians, yet he was mad at the fact that some “white people” were prejudice. Throughout the film he went through a process to overcome the way he felt about people that were not African American. In the end he saved the lives of innocent people locked in the back of a van that were going to be used as slaves, which helped in the redemption of Chris’s character.

Although Process B-8715 and Crash have many similarities, they also have their differences. For example, the Holocaust took place years ago around the time or World War II. People had many diverse opinions about races and religions because they were not as educated as people today. Crash takes place in the early 21st century and in this day in age many people attend diverse colleges and are employed with many different races and religions. Although today’s generation is more educated, many types of racism depend on the persons’ upbringing. Racism has improved dramatically after the Holocaust but the film Crash depicts the narrow-mindedness and discrimination of today’s society.

The reasoning behind the events during the Holocaust was based mainly on the Nazis following the beliefs of Adolf Hitler. The Nazis adhered to all of Hitler’s viewpoints which gave them the motivation to brutally murder the minorities, especially the Jewish followers, in any way they saw fit. In the film Crash, there was no single person forcing the characters to think a certain way. The characters looked to the news stories to help them stereotype others. As portrayed in the film, if one African American has committed a crime, all fellow African Americans will do the same.

Since Process B-8715 is a documentary, it displays an extremely passionate outlook on the happenings of the Holocaust. As Bernard is explaining different things he was forced to live through, it is easy to see the emotion and hurt in his eyes. Along with the sentimental factor, the documentary provides a large amount of first hand information. The film Crash was based on a dramatization of real life. Although the scenes in the film can actually occur, it is still a fictional story.

Even though Process B-8715 and Crash have many similarities and differences, it may be easier for people to relate to Crash by linking the film to everyday life. Crash is a modern day portrayal of everyday acts of hate and racism, whether they are on purpose or accidental. Although Process B-7815 was a documentary on the horrific past events of the Holocaust by a true survivor, the modern day approach of Crash makes it more appealing to the majority of the public.

~Angela H.

Posted by: Angela H. at April 19, 2006 12:02 AM

The Truth About Prejudice Through Cinematography

Prejudice is a strong and powerful weapon that can be used to wound people of any certain race, religion, or even gender. Countless movie have been created over several decades that have exposed prejudice within society and how people all over the world can be affected by it. The movies, Crash and Process B-7815 have both been known to have similarities and differences on showing prejudice in societies. Through the people affected, the crimes of prejudices committed, and what is to be learned, each movie provides many opportunities to send a message to viewers. Hatred against anyone is a crime in its own. Prejudice can even be related to fear, possibly a fear against something or even someone. People often hide that fear with anger, which later can be pushed upon a certain group of individuals. Although both these movies portray negative images, they also are insightful and hopefully bring peace of mind to viewers. In the course of the movie many passionate crimes of hatred are committed.

The movie, Process B-7815 was based on true accounts of a holocaust survivor retelling of the tragic and horrific days of sweat, blood, and tears. The holocaust was created for the genocide of people of mainly Jewish decent. There were also other religions and other groups of people there, but mainly the Jewish. Crash was a movie about several different people that lived in Los Angeles and how they are all connected to each other through racism and prejudice. The movie interlocks stories of blacks, whites, Iranians, Latinos, Koreans, the rich and the poor, criminals and cops, the powerful and the powerless. The movie talks about how people avoid touching each other because of fear, but sometimes they miss that touch so much that they just crash into each other. That is where some people think that is where the title comes from. With both these movies, they demonstrated racism reflecting different groups and races, but they both showed that anyone is able to face harsh racism and prejudice. Knowing that anyone is able to face it makes the crimes much easier to commit.

Process B-7815 is based on the true encounters of a survivor of the holocaust. The film reflects on how millions were tortured and killed. Thousands were sent to gas chambers. Many were shot and killed. Many were beaten to death. Others died from illness or starvation. Over millions of people were killed. They were killed because some people had hatred against them. They felt that they were not worthy to be alive. Millions of men, women, and even children were murdered because they were born into a certain race, religion, or ethnicity. In one part of the movie, thousands of pairs of shoes were shown. They were the shoe of the prisoners of these concentration camps. Images like that should really shake the world into seeing how powerful hatred can get. Although Process B-7815 had a powerful effect, the movie Crash is based more on the present day. Anthony, a character in the movie, states that African Americans are socially degraded. He says this after he gets neglected at a restaurant and also after he gets “looks” from people as he walks down the street. Also in the movie, a locksmith of Mexican decent faced prejudice criticism while on the job. A female in the movie gets sexual assaulted by a cop. An African American woman gets verbally assaulted by the same cop. Racism and prejudice fly’s throughout the movie as it continues. These movies are the same in the sense of how prejudice is show and how such an impact is presented. They also present differences in the sense of who it is affecting and how the prejudice was being presented. Both these movies reflect a strong message that can encourage everyone when they watch the movies.

In Process B-7815, Mr. Bernard, the survivor wanted more than just a message to be learned from the movie. He wanted to have a second generation to know what the holocaust was really like. He states that soon the first generation of holocaust survivors will no longer be around. It would be helpful to have a second generation to be around so that they can get the memories of horrible experiences alive through stories. That is not the only thing that Mr. Bernard wants viewers to remember. He wants viewers to take the stories and the images from the movie and remember them and the fact that anyone is capable of committing hate crimes and having prejudices. In the movie Crash it can seem as if the same message is portrayed. It is true that anyone has the power and capability of destroying a person’s life by having a prejudice against them. The movie also portrays the message that at some point it is inevitable to not have some sort of prejudice. That at some point in life you will crash with another person. More messages can be seen throughout these movies.

Prejudice is a horrible thing that has impacted humans all around the world. Process B-7815 and Crash are just two movies that have been created to present racism and prejudice in a new light to millions around the world. Although they were both created to display the same general theme, they both display many different messages. They also show many different prejudices in affect throughout the courses of each movie. Both tried to convey that anyone at any point in time is capable of committing a prejudice. Process B-7815 was based on the focus of the holocaust, while Crash was display prejudices of the present day. None of the same races were used in both films, but the idea that it was not just one race, color, religion, or ethnicity was be hated upon. Prejudice is a controlling power. Many people around the world hope that one day prejudice will not be an issue.

~Kelly J.

Posted by: Kelly J. at April 19, 2006 12:04 AM

Crash and Process B-7815: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

There were two films that have demonstrated the monstrous inhumane acts human beings have committed or capable of committing. The first one is Process B-7815, a documentary about the Holocaust and a survivors' struggle to cope with living through this ordeal. The other film is Crash, a modern cinema depicting the social injustices that plague America (i.e. stereotyping and racial profiling). They are both two very intriguing films that have an abundance of relevance to the world as a society. They both have similar underlying themes such as: both films were able to show the extent of the power some people have in performing inhumane acts, how harmful these acts can be and how the victims cope with the damage.

It is dissimilar in the following ways: one film documented genocide, the mistreatment of a large ethnic group and universal awareness whereas the other film portrayed a lesser form of social injustice, the butterfly effect of that injustice and the irony of ideals of America. No matter how they differ, they are still two interesting films which have great meaning to our society.

Both films showed the extent of the power some people have in performing inhumane acts such as slavery or genocide. In Crash, many of the main characters were the victimizers in that they mistreated someone due to their race, cultural difference, or because of what someone thought ethically. The characters seemed to be random people who the story on who treated others with disregard because there was no context given to their past experience with people of a different race, culture, religion, or ethic. In Process B-7815, Bernard (the narrator and a survivor of the Holocaust) discusses with tourists and the viewers of the film about how under certain circumstances (ignorance for example) many people and/or nations are capable of reproducing the horrors of inhumanity such as genocide or enslavement. He gave proof and context to this by discussing his experiences during the Holocaust. He explained how the Nazi's treated the Jews and many other ethnic groups with disregard and contempt as they enslaved them in concentration camps and killed them at their own discretion.

In both films, the damage that can be caused by racism was shown. A few examples of this are, in the film Crash, one character almost lost his daughter, a woman was molested by a police officer and a man was killed because of a stereotypical thought an off-duty officer had.

In Process B-7815, Bernard emphatically talks about how he was a victim of the Holocaust, who endured witnessing torturing and the murder of his family and experienced starvation and rigorous labor brought upon him and his loved ones by the Nazis. He is the survivor of a disastrous event that cost the lives of thousands to millions of people, specifically those that shared his same ethnicity.

The victims in these two films came to a resolution about living and that was shown in both films. The characters in Crash expressed a resolve of tolerance and repentance by the end of the film even though they endured tragedies like the death of a brother or having to save the same person they molested from a burning vehicle. In Process B-7815, Bernard chooses to live out his days talking about and sharing the experiences he had in Europe during the Holocaust to all who are interested. So he spends his days not hating, but teaching. He teaches tolerance, appreciation, and self-education to the peoples of every nation.

They are two different films even though they have similar viewpoints. Process B-7815 is a documentary about an actual historical happening named the Holocaust, whereas Crash is a Hollywood cinema. Process B-7815 documented the story of a man's life of being a Holocaust victim to being a survivor, to being a teacher. Crash is a film with symbolism of hate-crimes and discrimination in America; it is not based on a true story. While Process B-7815 focused on only one man and his experience, Crash portrayed many different people, their situations and adaptation to it. It focused on about eight people and how what happened to them affected the rest of the others through social interaction. One example of this is how a woman was robbed by two minority men. She decides to have the locks on her home doors changed but then wants them changed again because she thought the locksmith (who happened to be a minority) would sell the key to his buddies.

Another way Process B-7815 and Crash differed was that Crash could be interpreted to mean that people on the United States should realize there are different people around them contrasted to Process B-7815 which was clearly about awareness of the Holocaust and the prevention thereof. Crash was so intense but was difficult to determine who the demographic is. Process B-7815 was a documentary which the implications to who the subject of the movie was directed to, was clear.

There is much for the people of this planet to grasp and embrace such as diversity. It just seems strange that in a world like this where there are people who don't speak the same way, look the same way, believe in the same things there isn't global tolerance. This is a planet we all have to share and hating your neighbor does not necessarily make that an easy thing. These two films are very important because they are showing the disasters of reality. The reality that people hate and when that hate is expressed it damages someone's life.

~Holden J.

Posted by: Holden J. at April 19, 2006 12:19 AM

Different, but So Much Alike

The documentary B-7185 and the movie Crash had many similarities but also many differences. The documentary and the movie were very emotional films that touched on a very hard topic that people all over the world deal with everyday. Both films were about discrimination and showed racism to the highest degree. The films also showed how the people were affected by the discrimination that they faced.

Although the people in the films were subjected to the highest degree of racism, the victims either overcame it, or they fell to the very bottom in their lives during their period of time. Both films have the relation of discrimination, and the way it affected many people who were a victim, but have a difference of their time period, the type of race in each film, and how people were discriminated.

B-7185 and Crash are similar in some ways. For example both films showed types of discrimination, the after affects of the discrimination of the victims, and both films involved death. In the documentary B-7185 the Nazi's showed painful and violent discrimination toward the Jewish people and citizens from Poland. In that documentary Bernard, who was telling the story about his experience, explained to everyone what happened behind the walls of the concentration camps. The Nazi's would murder their prisoners with out any remorse and make their prisoners work in the camps. If the prisoners were handicapped or just not worth having around in the Nazi's eyes then they were either shot and threw into a pit or forced to inhale toxic fumes. The victims that survived the concentration camps were forever affected. They always would carry forever what happened to them either in nightmares or by just sitting down remembering their horrible past.

So, in the movie Crash people were discriminated in ways of words or by some actions that were some times death. For example there were many incidents in the movie between the white police officers and the married couple. When the police officers pulled over the couple they were treated in a very rude manner definitely without respect. The couple had to deal with how they were treated that night and it was obvious that they were severely affected, especially the wife. The husband in the movie ended up both being able to handle certain things like the time when him and the partner of the police officer, who had pulled them over earlier in the movie, tried to help the husband out of the sticky situation that he was in. The husband did not want any part of the officer because of his memory with him the last time. Although, the wife dealt with the main police officer when they met up again in her car accident and forgave him, which you could tell through her eyes, and embraced that he did everything in his power to save her.

On the other hand, there are some differences in the documentary B-7185 and the movie Crash. Some are the time period, what kind of races where being discriminated, and how these people were discriminated. The time period in the film B-7185 was during the earlier years of World War II, where as the movie Crash was going on during the present day times. Which goes to show that no matter what time period it is that there has always been some kind of discrimination toward different races.

There was also a difference between the films of what kind of races were being discriminated. The documentary B-7185 there was discrimination going on with the Nazi's mistreating Jewish and Polish people. But in the movie Crash the movie basically is displaying hatred between Caucasians, African Americans and Hispanics.

The final difference between the movie Crash and the documentary B-7185 is how discrimination was shown. In the documentary people were unresistantly murdered no matter what. Only the strong and smart could survive and come out of a concentration camp, or they would just get lucky when Adolf Hitler was finally taken down. In the movie Crash, the characters where discriminated in the way of mostly words and some dramatic and heart wrenching actions. For example when Sandra Bullock's character got in a heated argument with her husband about how she wanted the locks changed while the Hispanic locksmith was trying to do his job. Some of the more dramatic forms of discrimination was when the store owner pointed a gun and fired it at the Hispanic locksmith after his store was robbed.

The documentary and the movie are very similar but very different at the same time. The time periods being so different in both of the films shows that now matter what day, what month, what year, or what generation it is there is and always will be some people that show discrimination toward others.

The way that people show discrimination in the future may be the same ways that they show it today or completely different. Although no matter how people show it or if they do it, it will always cause and affect toward the other person in some way, whether it affect them traumatically or by just hurting their feelings, they will always have a burden to carry with them through their whole like no matter what color the person is.

~Liz L.

Posted by: Liz L. at April 19, 2006 12:27 AM

The Wrath of Racism

Movies and films are one of the most popular forms of entertainment. They bring out all kinds of emotions in people. They make them laugh, cry, angry, happy, and any other emotion known to man. Not only do they make a person feel, but they make them think. Movies have more of an effect if they make the viewer reflect on their own life or events. Reflection also allows the view to compare the film to history or other films. After viewing the films Process B-7815 and Crash, there were some parallels and differences in the theme of racism and events of the movies.

The similarity of the two movies is definitely the themes. Both films dealt with the idea of racism in the world. Process B-7815 was about Bernard Offen’s experience during the Holocaust. The Holocaust was Hitler’s execution and attempted extermination of Jews in Europe. He talked about how he was mistreated by German Nazis in the concentration camps. They were all dragged from their homes and forced to work at these camps. When arriving, they were stripped down and forced into lines. Their names and ages would be taken then they were sent to go get a number tattooed on their body. They lost their identity and became only a number. After that they were again separated. Some people went to go work while others were forced into gas chambers. The others were sent to work then forced to sleep with hundreds of people crammed into a little building. They were starved and would wake up each day not knowing if it was their turn to die or not.

The theme in Crash also dealt with racism. Each character lived in Los Angeles and came upon racism. Each character had to deal with it in their-own way. People were called names, stereotyped, discriminated against, and even faced violence. People displayed fear that became hate towards others for no reason other then their race and appearance. Although none of them knew each other, they were all touched by the effects of their own and other people’s racism and prejudice. Even though there was racism in both films, the level and extent of the racism and characters’ reaction to it, were very different.

Crash dealt with racism and prejudice on local levels. The characters were only hateful towards another person, rather then a whole group in the world. Sandra Bullock’s character had a bad experience when Ludacris’ character hijacked their car. After that she turned that fear into hate towards the Mexican locksmith and maid. She was afraid the locksmith would give their new house keys to his “gang homies” and asked her husband to get the locks changed again. Ludacris felt that all white people stereotyped him as a thug because he was black. He didn’t like that but ended up fitting that stereotype and would rob them. Matt Dillon’s character at the beginning was very racist towards black people. He was fortunate enough to learn from his mistakes and become a better person in the end. Unfortunately, his partner fell into fear and prejudice and committed the worst crime in the movie, murder. All of these examples of Crash are personal and the characters could prevent it from happening. The people in the Holocaust were not so lucky.

The racism that occurred during World War II was on more of a global level then a personal level. Hitler brainwashed the German Nazis into absolutely hating people that did not qualify as “the perfect race.” He was a hero to people because they felt he was doing the right thing. People stopped thinking of Jews as people, but rather looked at them as vermin. Bernard described how Poland was separated into Poles and Jews, even though they were all Polish. Millions of people were killed because of their ethnic background and religion. The Jews could do nothing about it. Their lives were decided by prejudice people and had no choice on how to stop it. The Holocaust ended up being one of the most cruel and horrible events to ever happen in history. It also has had the biggest effect on how the World and governments are run today. Because of what happened to Bernard and Jews all over Europe, they now have their own country of Israel, which is still a hot topic.

Since the beginning of man, there has been diversity. No two people in this world are exactly alike. Throughout history there have been people who have to deal with racism. There have been wars fought, and millions of lives lost all because people can’t accept what is different. Even the United States of America, the land of the free, is relatively new to equal rights. Movies like Crash and Process B-7815 open the viewer’s eyes to the fact that things like this have happened and are still happening today. It happens not only to individuals but to groups of people. It makes the view reflect on that, and look at their-own life and behavior. Hopefully movies like these will make the view turn those reflections into action and make this world a better place to live, for everybody.

~Brendan L.

Posted by: Brendan L. at April 19, 2006 12:30 AM

Hate Crime: Crash and Process B-7815

The world has always been plagued with unjustified opinions about particular groups of people. This prejudice and discrimination too often results in rash, angry, hurtful outcries and misdemeanors specifically aimed to harm someone or some group: hate crimes.

The film Crash exhibits a plethora of appalling acts and hate crimes in the modern world. As the characters in Crash interact and act upon their predispositions, anger and misguided conjecture emerge in the form of hurtful misdeeds. The documentary film Process B-7815 also demonstrates monstrous hate crimes, but on a much grander scale as it explorers the tale of Bernard’s survival during the Holocaust in Europe.

Although he terrible happenings revealed to the audience in Process B-7815 occurred before the coining of the term hate crime, they were indeed hate crimes. While the magnitude of a racial injustice in the inner city and the genocide of an entire people in Europe are very different, the events in both Crash and Process B-7815 can be linked by the nature and rationale of their reprobates and the profiling employed to choose their unfortunate targets.

What makes these felonies hate crimes though? A hate crime can be described as an offense, action, or inaction designed to harm, embarrass, alienate, or damage the wellbeing of a specific person or group based on some assumption about their behavior or opinion, a generalization, or biased dislike. If a hate crime is initiated by a large group, whether or not those that perform the deeds of their arbitrators share any such hatred or dislike is irrelevant; those crimes are still fueled by its masterminds.

The insightful works of Crash and Process B-7815 underscore the affects that hate crimes have on people and society and what they really are.
Certainly the extermination of the Jews in Germany and throughout Europe was a hate crime by the previous definition. The Nazis of the time were enslaving and terminating a particular group of people because of a reinforced and reiterated injection of mindless hatred.

Bernard’s personal experience, exposed in his documentary Process B-7815, illustrates the profound influence and emotional and spiritual damage caused by hate crimes like these. Not only is the more specific experience of one man conveyed by Bernard’s film, but also the scale and horror felt by all those who were persecuted with him. The hate crimes suffered by Bernard and the Jews during WWII encompass a category of such offenses in which the crimes are extreme and the majority of the inflictors are mere tools of their organization. Many of the Nazi troops that tortured and killed Jews were essentially zombies and knew nothing else. It can be argued that the uncountable losses of the Holocaust can be described as war crimes—injustices committed (generally upon civilians) in the name of war as a plausible or acceptable path to a certain goal or victory. However, even if the Holocaust is a war crime, it is also a hate crime in that it was driven by an irrational abhorrence and ignorance, targeted a specific religious group, and only directed much needed resources away from the war, placing military victory farther and farther out of reach.

Jews were a socially victimized group, not a valid objective of war, and their ensuing genocide was perhaps one of the greatest hate crimes of history. The internal discrimination of Bernard and others is demonstrative of the suffering that accompanies unsupported and generalized views.

It is a similar matter in the film Crash where different characters are victimized for belonging to a particular group. In the case of these characters though, the biased feelings, assumptions, and dislike are emanated by those committing the crimes rather than by some orchestrator.

The aggressors in Crash are all different, attacking groups of people that they have personally deemed to be lesser than the groups they associate themselves with. Because these opinions all differ, sometimes adversely, many different kinds of people are affected by them, unlike those in Process B-7815 and the Holocaust where Jews were part of a systematic plan of extermination. However, the motivators for these crimes are essentially the same and are too based on foolish and rash pre-contemplation.

Hate crimes are hardly linear; they radiate and circulate and touch every single one of us. Tolerance and understanding are the keys to avoiding hate crime, violence, and social injustice. Crash shows us how, even today, hateful crimes can catch us all in a complicated web of violence and disarray. Process B-7815 shows us the possible extremes that these dangerous types of crime can reach when a powerful group or elite manifests their ideas with a large scale force or an entire society.

Though the scale and damage of the atrocities shown in the works Crash and Process B-7815 are quite different, they are all similar in that they are all hate crimes. Films like these make important statements and inquiries about how we as a society—or, more generally, as mankind—should think about the way we interact each and every day. As Bernard explains in his documentary, it is urgent that society does not forget the horrible results of prejudice hate crimes so that we may never repeat our mistakes.

Unfortunately, the concept of a hate crime and what exactly constitutes such a mistake is relative and varying, which is why tolerance is so paramount to peace. Hard-hitting productions like Crash help to certainly exemplify this idea. Will a massacre like the Holocaust ever occur again? Will people of a common nation perpetually attack and kill one another?

~Sean O.

Posted by: Sean O. at April 19, 2006 12:39 AM

A Different Approach to Learning: Watching Different Approaches of an Issue

Sometimes a lesson can be taught in many ways. There are usually different approaches to one single subject. The danger and seriousness of stereotyping and prejudice are portrayed through the film Process B-7815 and the movie Crash. Although the two films have many obvious differences, they also share many common situations and lessons. The differences in the two films are things such as, the way they were filmed, the amount of money put into them and the specific storylines. Though they have different stories to tell, the two films share the harsh realities of similar real life issues.

The main and probably most obvious difference between the two films is their generas. Process B-7815 is a non-fiction documentary, which follows a man named Bernard while he takes a group of people through his original home in Poland. He does this to teach them and the audience viewing the documentary the story of the Holocaust. The movie Crash is a fictional Hollywood Blockbuster. It is based on many different fictional characters who live in current Los Angeles. It was an extremely popular movie because of the deep drama and emotion. Because Process B-7815 is a non-fiction documentary it cost much less to make than Crash, witch includes many high profile celebrities. Also it is not as well known as the movie Crash.

The two films also differ in the actual story that is told. Although Process B-7815 was filmed not too long ago, the story that is told through Bernard is about his life as a child. Bernard takes his audience through his struggle for survival in during the Holocaust, wich was during the 1930’s and 40’s. He explains in detail how he went through years of a tragic lifestyle. Bernard experiences such a terrible lifestyle because of his religion. The movie Crash was also filmed a few years ago. The entire film is set in current times and only takes the audience through two days of the characters lives. It tells a story of many different types of characters who get into conflicts with others because of stereotypes put upon them because of their race.

Bernard and many others like him who suffered through the Holocaust did so because of one thing, their religion. The Jewish people of that time in Poland were brutally murdered in mass. This was a terrible event in real life world history. The characters in Crash experienced different violent conflicts with others because of assumptions based on many racial differences. The hate crimes committed in Crash were less extreme than the ones committed in the film Process B-7815 in that they were much less disturbing in the actual crimes and the number of deaths.

When Bernard shares his story on film the audience can actually see the real emotion in his face and hear it in his voice. He is not acting by any means. Going back to the places he suffered at in Poland brings back old memories that are all caught on film. The emotion viewed in the movie Crash is not real. The actors who play the different characters have not really experienced any of the situations in the movie. They play a role and get paid for it. They wear costumes and work on a set. The movie is all scripted and directed. None of the events that take place in the movie are real.

The differences in these films are apparent through these examples but there are many similar and strong messages given in these films.

Both of the films bring up the issue of hate crimes. In the film Process B-7815, hate crimes are committed on the entire Jewish community. The Jews were being tortured, enslaved, starved, beaten, and murdered in mass. They did nothing to deserve the cruel treatment they received except for being born and raised Jewish. Even young children and babies were killed. In the film Crash people were judged at first sight by their race. People were robbed, insulted, and even killed for no reason other than their ethnic background. In both films a single trait was the cause of many hate crimes.

Both of these films show how people can make assumptions and judgments because of stereotypes and prejudice. They also show how doing this can create terrible consequences. Both of these films are intended to create some of the same feelings and emotions for their audience. Some of these feelings could possibly be sadness or anger.

The events in Process B-7815 are sad because all of the terrible images and stories actually happened. Many innocent lives were taken for a hurtful reason. Most people would find themselves feeling sad after watching it. Most people would also feel angry because so many people actually united together to take away these innocent lives.

The movie Crash has a deep and true message. Although it is fiction, it is based on real situations, and movies can bring out emotion in people. There were many scenes that could make some people almost cry. Most people will also feel angry while watching this movie because the issues in it do happen in real life everywhere. People do think and act like the characters in the movie do. Both of the movies share the same general message. The end of each film can cause an almost automatic reaction for the viewer. Many people are left with their thoughts on the lesson and messages of the films.

The film Process B-7815 and the movie Crash were both used in a class to teach the same lesson from two very different views. These two movies compared to each other could be a great way to teach about the issues of stereotyping, prejudice, and hate crimes from different and interesting aspects. The films are very different in many ways but they teach the same type of lesson. Taking new and different approaches to many things can be surprisingly beneficial.

~Cathy R.

Posted by: Cathy R. at April 19, 2006 12:42 AM

The Cycle of Hate Crimes

The concept of racism has produced a never ending cycle of hate crimes throughout the world and it still continues to do so in this day in age as shown in the films Process B-7815 and Crash. The documentary Process B-7815 provides an in depth look into the life of a man whose story was shaped by the actions of Adolf Hitler and his followers against Jews and people of a lesser race. Crash on the other hand employs many fictional characters to represent a wide spectrum of races and the conflicts that arise when the races clash. These two films use social issues that occur in every day life and exaggerate them in order to apply emphasis to their relevance. Due to the content in both films, the viewer is able to envision a world filled with hate that has no way of ever being resolved.

Process B-7815 introduces us to the character of Bernard Offen, a Holocaust survivor. He is in a journey to create second generation witnesses of the holocaust. Bernard hopes that this will help people of future generations remember just how horrible hate can be. He also hopes to inform them of how the concept of simple ignorance can get completely out of hand to the point where people can be driven to kill millions of individuals just because of their religion. Being Jewish entails that one is a part of a religion; to Hitler and his followers it meant that they were a part of a lesser race. This might perhaps be a bit bazaar but it all had to do with their ignorance towards a group of people. There are times when fear can be born because of having a lack of knowledge about something that is different and new to a person. When that fear is born the only way to get rid of it is to get rid of the unknown variable. In this case it just so happened to be the Jews and other “lesser” races. Hitler might not have done it out of a fear but there’s a huge chance that it is why his followers did it.

In the film Crash the audience was able to look into lives of more than one character. Not only could they see an act of racism being performed against one individual but we were also able to see various races being affected by it. Among them were Caucasians, African Americans, Hispanics, Asians and Persians. Their stories seemed to be interlocked with one another. It was as if one act of hate crime could not have been carried out without another one having sparked it and the leading cause of these crimes was fear. Fear of the unknown. Each character was ignorant of the other person’s race or creed. They were unable to see the person behind the color of skin. All that was taken into account was the world known stereotype that had been applied to that specific race long before any of these characters were even born.
These two films carried similar messages in their themes. They spoke of what a hate crime performed against a person can do to shape one’s life in the future. One could grow up to hate others for the unjustly acts committed against them, while another could grow up to be open minded and able to see the world as being made up of individuals and not whole groups. Bernard Offen came to the conclusion that anyone is capable of committing a hate crime. He said that it all had to do with whether it was the right moment and circumstances in time. This all seemed to coincide with the current of events that transpired in the film Crash. As I stated before, each act seemed to be sparked by another. The characters themselves, although some were violent, appeared to have a genuine human side. They also had moderately normal lives before these events occurred. However something in their minds clouded their judgment. Perhaps it had to do with wanting to act out in self-defense but in the end ignorance and fear had a lot to do with it.

Ignorance and fear appear to be two common emotions that are shared by the characters in both films. Another however would have to be the feeling defining one’s self by their race. In the film Process B-7815, Bernard never once was able to clearly explain what being Jewish meant to him. Likewise in the film crash, the characters of Anthony and Peter were always arguing over what being African American truly meant. They tried to identify underlying characteristics and tastes that every African American should have. They were caught up in the stereotype. They even robbed people because that was what was expected of them as black ‘thugs’. Bernard Offen never tries to identify that, and I believe it has to do with the fact that nothing specific can explain what a Jew is. It is a faith that is carried inside and it differs in every single believer.

Hate crimes evolve from the common misconception that one can identify a certain person’s behavior by another one’s acts. They stem from a fear that if nothing is categorized into neat classes, then the world and life as a whole cannot be explained. Human nature requires us to arrange things so that we can familiarize ourselves with it and it can no longer frighten us. However, even though this has seemed to work in aspects of science and mathematics, humans cannot be told how to behave based on their race, religion or upbringing. Once this happens, hate is born. A hate towards mankind for not allowing a person to evolve into what he or she wants to be. And from that hate evolves a feeling of injustice for any crimes committed against someone for who they have indeed been allowed to grow up into. Process B-7815 and Crash were two films created to alert the viewer of how messed up the world can be, and how someone can learn from the actions and ignorance of others and move on with their lives with a deeper understanding of themselves.

~Emily S.

Posted by: Emily S. at April 19, 2006 12:44 AM

Note from Lee:

Samantha, Missy, Linda, Angela, Kelly, Holden, Liz, Brendan, Sean, Cathy and Emily: Awesome work! Thanks so much for the effort you put into those very insightful responses.

Posted by: Lee Hobbs at April 21, 2006 10:48 AM

These blogs cite the entry, "Rediscovering the Comparison Paper: Intolerance in Two Very Different Films." :

» "Collisions over Social Issues in the Film "Crash"" from: [The] English-Blog [.com]
Crash? If you have a class of top-level English students that seem open to receiving pop-cultural topics for writing and discusson subject-matter, you might have some success with this piece. It took two full class periods to show this film in class. It's ce... [Read More]

Tracked on April 18, 2006 11:30 PM

» "Writing Students and the Holocaust: Reviewing "Process B-7815"" from: [The] English-Blog [.com]
Using films to teach heady subjects in your English classes? Consider a film by independent film-maker Bernard Offen, age 72, who survived five Nazi concentration camps in Poland during World War Two, when he was a young teenager. In "Process B-7815," th... [Read More]

Tracked on April 18, 2006 11:30 PM

» "Making Choices: The Road Theme Revisited" from: [The] English-Blog [.com]
If you follow current events in pop-culture, you can see choices all around us. Katie Couric has made her choice to leave one successful job--her morning show--to try on another as achor for CBS. In the same regard, meredith vieira chose to leave her... [Read More]

Tracked on April 20, 2006 08:24 PM

» "Structure versus Plot in Bernard Offen's *The Work*" from: [The] English-Blog [.com]
Define and identify the type of structure used in Bernard Offen's film/documentary *The Work* from 1983 shown in class today. How is the structure different from the plot? Write a few paragraphs explaining your answer on the English-blog comment box b... [Read More]

Tracked on February 26, 2007 01:56 PM

» "Learning about the Holocaust Through Journal and Memoir" from: [The] English-Blog [.com]
The movie is told by Bernard in first person point-of-view. It is important that the story is told by him, it just wouldn’t be the same. Like in The Diary of Dawid Sierakowiak, these are dairies told from his point-of-view and you, as the reader, wouldn’t get the same out of the book if it was told by another person. I feel that Bernard’s movie would have been weaker if it wasn’t told by him. You realize what he has been through because he is actually telling you and showing you what he has been through . . . [Read More]

Tracked on February 26, 2007 02:01 PM

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