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August 23, 2012


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Can we assume that an audience member at least partially agrees to suspend disbelief by walking into the theatre to see a film?

It seems to me that one of the strongest cultural comments of Compliance is revealed when we realize that the two characters who refused to be compliant had the least to lose. Kevin is young, has his life ahead of him and probably minimal responsibilities, except to himself. Harold, if he isn't homeless, at least has a conventionally unenviable lifestyle. The others have jobs they need and "civilized" ideas of themselves to protect, which may make them more vulnerable to authority.

Do we kowtow to perceived authority in order to minimize the risk of losing what has become important to us? The Compliance characters who become complicit and compliant lose something extremely important (self-respect? strong personal ethics?) perhaps because of their fear of losing what is in fact much less valuable. Sad thing is, some of them (typified by Sandra) may not even realize what they have lost.

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