Have You Seen the Movie Where They Persecute the ‘Sense Offenders’?

Sometimes I’m late to the game. Just saw the 2002 movie Equilibrium. It received some deservedly awful reviews when it came out, and that’s probably why I had not bothered with it until now. But anyone who has even a vague interest in the topics covered in this blog should see it. Here’s what recommends it:

  • It is set in a dystopian future state called Libria, where a false sense of security is forced upon the populace with a drug. (Like we do with things like residency restriction laws and public shaming websites).
  • In Libria, “sense offenders” are feared, hunted down and destroyed. (Do I need to point out what “sense offender” sounds like? Even when they say it in the movie, it’s like hearing those we know who blather about sex offenders).
  • It’s got Christian Bale, who’s cool.
  • In this movie, persecuting “sense offenders” is a bad thing and (spoiler alert!) the persecutors get exactly what they deserve in the end.

I’m not the only person to make the connections I make about this movie. Here’s a paragraph from an Australian review of Equilibrium:

On the surface, Equilibrium may seem to to be a far stretch, but there are many authoritative regimes throughout the world, who will do anything to maintain control. What I like about this movie, it gives me a sense of what it is like to live in a country such as North Korea or Singapore. Meanwhile in western countries, there is a crack down on terrorists and sex offenders.

And this from a reviewer here in the U.S.:

Christian Bale plays one of the lead clerics of the theocracy, charged with enforcing the law and executing “sense offenders” (which seems to be a play on the term “sex offenders”).

If you’ve already seen it and you cannot believe it’s taken me 12 years, my apologies. If you have not seen it, it is streaming right now on Netflix. You’ll enjoy it.

1 thought on “Have You Seen the Movie Where They Persecute the ‘Sense Offenders’?

  1. Anonymous

    I rented this movie last night after reading this post! Family Video on Harrison St. has it in their “Favorites” section for only a buck. It was a good movie!! It reminded me of the 1966 movie “Farenheit 451” which was a similar movie which takes place in the future in utopian society where all books are illegal and you are only allowed to know messages that the government provides. It's a great movie about censorship and the repercussions of govt inflicted censorship. I don't think Family video has it to rent, but I know the Omaha Public Library has it on DVD and possibly on Netflix.

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