Another option, which I think is the thing that makes more sense, is this fact that the police are a reflection of the occupation of certain neighborhoods and certain parts of cities that are designed, basically, to keep the bottom down and basically maintain the status quo, but out of sight, so that the other side - the people in power, the people with money, the people with comfort, the people that are living in the "safer" areas - are sure that they can sleep safely in their bed while bad thing are happening to people and it's not their... Read more »
And with the Occupy Movement, it's really ironic how the police come as representatives and enforcers of the powers that be, even though the people in the Occupy Movement are really on their side - not in terms of their behavior, but in terms of their economic status, in terms of who the police are in society and how much they're paid, and if you boil it down to the economics of it, the police should be out there marching with the Occupy Movement.
First of all, we occupied Afghanistan and Iraq and I'm not even talking about the past occupation of them, I'm just talking about currently. And we all know that occupations, in military terms, comes down basically to policing, so you have an army basically functioning as a police force in these foreign territories as part of foreign policy. I'm not knocking that down, I'm just observing.
I really feel that actors should really know who they are as characters; they should really study their lines; they should be prepared; but once they come to set, for me the most exciting way to shoot a scene is to really find it, really kind of grind your way through it, until you feel like you have something that you can put together.
There's no solutions to prevent corruption because it's the same thing as putting soldiers in an occupation in a foreign territory - there's too much that's gonna go wrong. There's too much human behavior that's going to get in the way. So you're gonna have to start thinking about it in a different direction, and the different direction is: what is wrong with society?
All the scenes that have to do with the fact that, at the end of the day, we're all engaged - hopefully some of us - in certain causes and ideals and certain ways of living, but we're human, and we're making all these mistakes, and we're caught in particular systems - whatever it is - but ultimately, there's a price paid by the people that are closest to you.
I think that almost every scene was an exploration - it was never going to be just what's on the page. So I know I was very lucky - we all were - to work with a cast of this caliber. These are extremely experienced and intelligent actors, who are also deeply emotional and - as you say - are also engaged in the world.
I think everybody came into it with the understanding that they would go through an experience that is literally not by the book, that is not executing the script and then going home, but living and breathing these characters and being in the moment with each other, and improvising and creating a lot of present-tense intensity between characters.
So the only problem that you have is actually switch things in the department, changing things, controlling things, putting it maybe under federal supervision, and if you fix the department, you'll fix the problems - with police corruption, with brutality, with evidence tampering, all those things.
What is reflected in the way this behavior is happening - in the way that minorities are treated, and the way that the incarceration system works, and the way that even the police are treated, and the way they're paid, and the way they're trained, and the whole educational system.
I think you can blame certain police officers for certain behavior, you can blame certain departments for certain behavior, and power and so forth, but, ultimately, I'd say it's about us, and it's about society, and I say - even if its sounds a little controversial - put the police aside for a second. It's really not about them. It's about the game that's been created to keep the status quo going and to let the people who own it all gain from the game.
That's really the big inspiration of this movie. It's really looking at a man who's really showing all the traits and all the characteristics of the classic patriarchal country, where he's of military power, he's the king of the hill at home, as well as in the streets. He has the liberty to live where he wants.