In an entertainment landscape in which war and consumer propaganda has largely replaced artistic originality, I rarely ever waste time or money on movies anymore. The usual movie fare is barren of human complexity and most are little more than moralistic fables designed to increase patriotism and present a fictional view of society intended to distract viewers from reality.
More importantly, they present those possessing attributes which contribute to the maintenance of the status quo as the good guys, and those possessing attributes which threaten it as the bad guys, and the good guys always win. As the public has become more sophisticated, propagandists have had to adapt their demonization techniques. Part of that adaptation has been to acknowledge that the bad guys have a little good and the good guys have a little bad. However, the status quo itself, the invisible main character in all of them, is always the good guy, worthy of protecting, no matter its well-intentioned flaws.
One reason I consider “The Suicide Theory” a modern work of genius and destined to become a cult classic is that it is one of the few rare movies which does not present the social, political, or moral status quo as the good guy. Rather than moral judgement, the plot revolves around cause and effect. In so doing it brilliantly demonstrates the true extent of human interconnectedness. Supremely ironic, through the complete absence of moral judgment, the film reaches the scientific, rather than moral, conclusion that we are in fact our brother’s keepers, whether we choose to accept it or not.
Equally brilliant, not only is the status quo absent as the good guy, life itself isn’t the good guy, either. Rather than taking it for granted that the continuation of life is always the desirable outcome, this film dares to raise the question of whether there are mental and emotional circumstances under which death would be preferable to continued existence. While society is still divided on the issue of whether to force people in excruciating and constant physical pain to remain alive, this brave film asks the question substituting mental and spiritual pain.
The superb performances of, and interaction between, actors Steve Mouzakis and Cain Leon were powerful enough to make me laugh at a grisly attempted murder, thereby forcing me to acknowledge my own potential murderousness. Good movies mirror aspects of our humanity, but great movies x-ray them. Great movies don’t merely reveal the damaged souls beneath our social facades through their effects, but pursue them through the darkness to their source and expose them to the light. It has been said that nothing changes until it is what it is, and this movie presents the human condition as it truly is.
As a result, viewers are asked to accept that a human being is capable of simultaneously experiencing love, gratitude, rage and mercy—all while killing. Our legal system defines killing another for money as “sane”, but killing for more human, and humane, reasons, insanity. Such is the true insanity of our society. Removed from the complexity of our own humanity by simplistic propaganda, coupled with our denial of the scientific laws of cause and effect, we are experiencing a collective loss of the will to live. The weight of our collective repressed guilt over seizing more than our fair share through violence and murder is heavy indeed. The movie industry has undertaken the task of helping us remain in denial. While that particular form of insanity may be making big pharma billions, films such as this would serve as a much better antidote.