After watching Craig Zobel’s psychological drama, Compliance, I found feeling both violated and puzzled, and also completely baffled by the mystery of human behavior. The film is based on an event at a Kentucky McDonald’s when a man, claiming to be a police officer, called the manager and proclaimed that one of her employees had stolen money from a woman’s purse. He then gave the manager two options: take the girl down to the police station and have her booked, or follow his implicit instructions to have the stolen items located. Over the next three hours, the manager, the manager’s boyfriend, and various other employees blindly followed the man’s instructions without disobedience, resulting in multiple strip searches and, eventually, a sexual assault. But why didn’t anyone just say no? Why didn’t the girl, who was completely innocent, just get up and leave? How did these people comply so drastically, simply because they were “cooperating with the law?” And what’s most horrifying is that this was not the only case; over 70 calls of the same nature have been reported over the last ten years.
Craig Zobel’s ‘Compliance’ Takes a Dark Look at Human Behavior