Compliance is a psychological thriller based on a true event in which a sociopath pretending to be a cop called a fast food joint and convinced the manager to do horrific things to a young employee. It sounds like the Milgram Experiment in the real world.
From the New York Times:
“Compliance” came into focus when [director Craig Zobel] learned about the 2004 case of a man who called a McDonald’s in Mount Washington, Ky., and persuaded the female manager to interrogate and strip-search a female employee. Mr. Zobel was amazed to discover that this story was part of a wider pattern; the culprit was a serial prankster, and similar incidents had been reported at other chain restaurants.From the movie's YouTube trailer description:
[Video Link]When a police officer tells you to do something, you do it. Right?
Inspired by true events, COMPLIANCE tells the chilling story of just how far one might go to obey a figure of authority. On a particularly busy day at a suburban Ohio fast food joint, high-strung manager Sandra (Ann Dowd (Garden State) receives a phone call from a police officer saying that an employee, a pretty young blonde named Becky (newcomer Dreama Walker) has stolen money from a customer. Convinced she's only doing what's right, Sandra commences the investigation, following step-by-step instructions from the officer at the other end of the line, no matter how invasive they become. As we watch, we ask ourselves two questions: "Why don't they just say no?" and the more troubling, "Am I certain I wouldn't do the same?"
The second feature from director Craig Zobel (the man behind the 2007 Sundance hit Great World of Sound), COMPLIANCE recounts this riveting nightmare in which the line between legality and reason is hauntingly blurred. The cast delivers startlingly authentic performances that make the appalling events unfolding onscreen all the more difficult to watch -- but impossible to turn away from. Delving into the complex psychology of this real-life story, COMPLIANCE proves that sometimes truth really is stranger than fiction.
Mark Frauenfelder is the founder of Boing Boing and the editor-in-chief of MAKE and Cool Tools. Twitter: @frauenfelder. Come and hear Mark speak at the ALA conference in Chicago on July 1.