What inspires people to become filmmakers

Is "Joker" a dangerous movie? Joaquin Phoenix has an answer for all critics

In “Joker”, director Todd Phillips tells the story of an outsider who has been shaken by fate and pushed around by society, who at some point goes nuts and avenges himself with bloody violence on those who have wronged him.

At least that is how “Joker” could be summarized in a rather exaggerated and simplistic way. And because the DC film apparently portrays a gunman and violent criminal as a hero with whom one has compassion, concerns that "Joker" could inspire copycat criminals increased in the run-up to the cinema release - especially in the USA, which is already plagued by constant acts of violence.

Why Joaquin Phoenix has stayed out of it so far

Of course, Phillips and his leading actor Joaquin Phoenix were also approached about this topic, which in at least one documented case ensured that Phoenix escaped from an interview and only agreed to continue the conversation after an hour.

In an interview with the Los Angeles Times Phoenix now revealed what was going through his head at the time and defended "Joker" with clear words against the allegations.

His own research on the subject showed that attention and reports in the media are much more likely to inspire people to commit acts of violence than films about fictional characters, says Phoenix. “I was in an unfortunate position because I thought, 'I can't talk about it because that's exactly what may be part of the problem. That is exactly what you shouldn't do. ‘"

But in the end the fears turned out to be largely unfounded anyway. Instead, Phoenix reports, he received emails from people telling him that they would perceive mental illnesses such as schizophrenia with different eyes after the film.

“In the end, the film is about the power of friendliness and the lack of empathy in the world - and that apparently also resonated with the audience. It's amazing that a movie that supposedly - as some people have written - would inspire mass chaos, in truth just inspired a few people to dance down stairs. "

"Joker" has been in German cinemas since October 10, 2019.

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