Compliance Is Already Making Me Uneasy

Becky and Sandra aren’t the best of friends. Sandra is a middle-aged manager at a fast-food restaurant; Becky is a teenaged counter girl who really needs the job. One stressful day (too many customers and too little bacon), a police officer calls, accusing Becky of stealing money from a customer’s purse, which she vehemently denies. Sandra, overwhelmed by her managerial responsibilities, complies with the officer’s orders to detain Becky. This choice begins a nightmare that tragically blurs the lines between expedience and prudence, legality and reason.

Wow, man. It takes a lot to make me feel uneasy, but this trailer for filmmaker Craig Zobel’s new film Compliance totally succeeds. Based on a bizarre true story wherein the manager of a fast food restaurant detained an employee, strip-searched her, and even called in her soon-to-be husband who had the employee commit sex acts on him, all because of the instructions of a phone caller claiming to be a police officer. It’s a pretty twisted example of the Milgram experiment’s findings: people will do just about anything when they think they’re being commanded by someone in a position of authority. Anyway, the story sure makes for a creepy movie premise, and I’m very interested to see the end result. Apparently this film caused quite the controversy on the festival circuit, which only intrigues me further. Also, it reminds me of Stuart Gordon’s Stuck, also based on a dark and twisted true story.

Compliance comes out sometime in August 2012, most likely in a limited release.

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