The issue of copycat crimes inspired by cinema is an ongoing one that has been with us for decades and it doesn’t look as if it will go away any time soon. Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for an individual to see an act take place in a film and to then emulate it in real life. Filmmakers don’t set out to make films that are going to inspire people to commit awful and atrocious acts, but do they have a moral responsibility to their audience?
Copycat crimes relating to a particular film will usually damage the film heavily. The most obvious example of this is A Clockwork Orange, which was pulled from distribution in the UK after the film began to get heavily misinterpreted and crimes based on acts that took place in the happened at a scary frequency. Sometimes, it is just the case of mentally unstable individuals seeing a particular film and acting upon a random event they see in it, but filmmakers do have a moral responsibility to their audience, particularly in the case of portraying violence as there is a fine line between examining violent behaviour and glamourising violence.
10. The Town
Ben Affleck’s Boston set crime thriller features a number of scintillating set pieces, most notably when he and his criminal crew dress up as nuns, and wielding some heavy firepower rob a bank for hundreds of thousands of dollars. Because it’s the movies, robbing a bank is made to look cleaner, easier and more lucrative than it actually is, but that didn’t stop a couple from Illinois from attempting to emulate Affleck and co…
Wearing nuns clothing and covering their faces with nightmarish masks like the crew in the film,
Navahcia Edwards, 25 and her fiancé stormed a Chicago bank heavily armed and walked away with over $100,000. No shots were fired during the robbery and nobody was injured or hurt, which is actually a pleasant surprise. The couple were eventually caught and sentenced.
This article was first posted on June 5, 2013