To those who left Compliance
About 20 people walked out of COMPLIANCE Thursday during an extremely uncomfortable scene in which the teenaged counter clerk, whose unlawful detention is central to the point of the movie, is subjected to sexual humiliation. I was squirming in my seat, too, so I completely understood those patrons who decided to skip the rest of the scene, and the movie.
When I know that a film has sexual, violent, or otherwise upsetting content, I go to great lengths to let patrons know — on this website, in the weekly emails that precede each movie, and in my pre-film talk. I simply had no idea COMPLIANCE was so potentially disturbing.
I thought COMPLIANCE was a superb movie. Audiences are reviewers are sharply divided between those who find it realistic and those who think it absurdly implausible. I’m firmly in the realistic camp. I believe the movie sheds light on a serious social issue that doesn’t get enough attention: our tendency to comply with authority, even when doing so offends our sense of right and wrong.
Nevertheless, I sincerely regret not issuing a clear content warning. I didn’t read enough reviews to grasp how upsetting the movie could be, and I apologize for my oversight. If anyone who left feels hard done by, please send me an email at parker (at) cbfilms (dot) ca, or speak to me before another screening, and I’ll be happy to give you free admission to another film, or refund your ticket price — your choice.