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"The Ballad of Narayama" is a Japanese film of great beauty and elegant artifice, telling a story of startling cruelty. What a space it opens…

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More than one side

From: Soheil Rezayazdi, Iowa City, IA

I'd like to thank Roger Ebert and the other producers of this site for not ignoring the overwhelming amount of disdain many cinephiles have for "Crash," not just as a "Brokeback Mountain" spoiler but as a deeply flawed film. I won't try to hide the fact that I disagree wholeheartedly with your opinions on the film. By now I'm sure you've heard all the anti-"Crash" talking points -- its contrived storyline, penchant for melodrama, its simplistic attitude toward race, etc.

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While you ignore these points in your almost childlike enthusiasm for the film, I'm glad that you've given a fair amount of space on this site to the other side. I'm glad you don't live such an insular world where you only acknowledge those who agree with your highly contentious opinions. It makes me respect you more as a film critic. Many people who were invested in "Brokeback Mountain"'s success are in a state of quasi-mourning after the Oscar telecast, a fact exploited by many supporters of "Crash." I'm glad you're not one of them.

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