Less Harmful Decision

I got list of good movies that I wanted to see, mostly based on theme that got my interests, such as law, court, justice, prejudice, psychology, and criminal. I am interested in logical thinking based on facts but do not take those facts blindly without deep thinking.

12 Angry Men, released in 1957. The format is all in black and white, but I just love it so much. The movie was started with a judge giving some kind of talk, I am not sure how to call it, to the jurors, so that they could go to a special room and discuss to decide whether a man was guilty or not guilty, and the decision should be uninomous.

And then we were brought to the juror’s room. The 12 jurors entered the room one after the other. Some men took a seat directly, while some others took off their jacket because of the hot wheather and the air conditionaire was not working. Some other stood by the window, some other talked, small talked, and there was one man who went to the rest room. It’s all done in one shot, reminded me of “Sybil” the old movie about multiple personality. I just can’t believe that classic movies are so amazing.

These 12 men almost came to one decision that the man on trial was found guilty. But then the conflict began to start when there was a man who vote for not guilty. And the story went on as this one man tried to give the arguments toward his ‘not-guilty’ vote. Until one by one he succeeded to break the evidences that have been shown in the court room to be unacceptable, and to show the other 11 men that there were possibilities for the witnesses to make mistakes in their testimonies.

What I learned from this movie was that it is difficult to set ourselves free from our prejudices when it come to judge or value something or somebody. It is so true, you know. When we also face the decision making, a lot of things will get on our way, like the prejudices we have on something, the stereotypes of something. Also if we involve our personal matter on it, like our goal, like if the decision we are about to make will influence our job, our own interest, our ‘precious’ time, etc. These things and other things that I probably failed to mention will definetely get on our way.

Eventhough we already set our mind to only follow facts, just remember that there is always possibilities that people might make mistakes. We as human can only try and pray so that our Rabb, Allah, will show us the way to think clearly, in a calm state, and clear our mind from all prejudices and stereotypes.

But again, we can never make logic as the only one matter on this earth. Logic is just a way to help us to find the less harmful decision, I believe. Because if the logic stands alone, you’ll be in the same group witht hose who worship logic and science. But if you guide logic with faith, believe, and religion, you’ll have guidance to drive your logic to make a less harmful decision.

I hope I can drive my logic wisely.

I also learned that by observing and listening more in calm state will give us a clear picture. Just like 12 jurors who should sit there, listening to all what the both lawyers have to show and convince them. We as human also need to do the same when we come to a situation in which a friend, sister, or whoever who might need our advice. To listen patiently. Because we can observe their mimic, gesture, expression, their tone, etc, etc, ’cause boy, how people love to be heard with full attention.

To continue the previous pharagraph, about how we should stay calm while observing and listen to those who speak with us is because we have to rememer that everyone has their side of story. It’s just in their story people tend to put themselves as the victim and the other side almost always play the bad guy. I am quite confident about the last sentence. So that is why you should listen with full attention to every word a person is telling you. And always put it in your mind that people tend to tell you what they believe, what they see, and what they want to see, what they want to hear.

Just like in court. Both lawyers from the state and defendant or the accused only show the judge and jurors what they want to show them, in order to win the case. So you have to understand that there will always some information and fact, left hidden and uncovered. Same goes with those who come to you for advice.

So a good listener will not make assumption only based on one side of a story, she/he will look for other side of a story or to pull apart all the information she/he got from one side of story that’s been told by one person.

“It’s always difficult to keep personal prejudice out of a thing like this, wherever you run into it, prejudice always obscures the truth.
I don’t really know what the truth is. I don’t suppose anybody will ever really know.
Nine of us now seem to feel that the defendant is innocent. But, we’re just gambling on probabilities.
We may be wrong, we may be trying to let a guilty man go free.
I don’t know. Nobody really can.
But, we have a reasonable doubt, and that’s  very valuable in our system. No jury can declare a man guilty unless it’s sure”.

Comment about the scnene:
After the judge let the jurors to talk in the special room, the camera shot an empty room with twelve seats around a table. It showed us the attitude of every characters who will decide whether the defendant found guilty or not. For about 7 minutes there was no change of camera frame, you know like the angle of shooting. And I almost think that the movie was going to take only one shot. But then there was a changing of the camera, shooting from across the room. But, it’s not a big deal, cause I still love it.

The scene was almost taken place in that tiny room for about an hour and twenty minutes duration of the movie. If we are to compare it to movies which took place in different setting and how it make people attracted to watch, or maybe that is what you look for in a movie, then you’ll find this movie boring.
But again, if you are looking for a movie which is full of meaning, rich dialogue, intense conflict, you will love this one.


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