Monday, March 6, 2017

Stasis Theory Within "The Sacrament"

The creators of "The Sacrament" decided to keep a steady theme of action and jurisdiction throughout the movie to highlight the main conflict of the film. The storyline follows two journalists who decide to film a documentary about a seclusive religious cult. However, what they find is not so pretty. The journalists notice multiple red flags throughout their time there, until finally a little girl spills that there is a group of individuals who want to escape. The protagonists are then stuck with a choice to take action or leave the incarcerated behind. The decision to take the initiative to try to save these followers set up the entire plot for the movie. Without this stasis set up, the movie would lose its direction and vision. The directors set off to represent the horrors behind some cult movements, and without the main characters looking to save victims, the movie would be unable to convey the message that cults can be extremely dark and dangerous. 

Not only is action and jurisdiction used to align the main ideas of the movie, but also cause and effect. When the protagonists decided to take the initiative to save those who were bound to the religious sect, the effects are irreparable. The "Father" of the cult orders a massacre of all who intended on leaving. If the journalists had never come, these events probably would not have occurred. It was crucial to portray the cause and effect of what happens when outsiders realize the horrifying truths that lurk behind the happy exterior of idolizing one being without question or reason. The stasis of the film kept the audience engaged and helped them to realize the director's concept of "The Sacrament". 


  1. I like how you relate multiple stases to your text and thoroughly explain each connection. I wouldn't have thought that there would be several major arguments but they are all present and are presented cohesively.

  2. I believe that all sections of stasis theory were included here. I know you already talk about cause/effect, action and jurisdiction, but we could also make a connection to conjecture and value as well. We could say that the producers used conjecture in the sense that when the cult leaders ordered a massacre, we clearly see when they kill the people. If they had just implied that the massacre happened, but not show the actual scene, we would have questions such as what happened? or did it actually happened?. But since they showed the scene of the killings if someone asks, did the massacre happen? We can say yes.

    We could say that questions of values are brought up as well. After we see that the cult leaders claim to give their members all they need, we see how they kill the cult members who were trying to escape. That leads the audience to wonder are cults honorable or dishonorable? should cults be sought or avoided? are cults a good thing or a bad thing?. All those questions are related to the stasis of value.

  3. I have not seen the film, but I think its unfair to only say that the choice the journalists made to stay and help those who wanted to escape was a bad decision. It seems like this was the only way some would be able to escape in general.