Video: director Craig Zobel on Compliance

Director Craig Zobel discusses his bold and inventive second feature.


Sandra (Ann Dowd) is the manager of a fast-food joint. She takes her job very seriously, which makes her something of a figure of fun among her employees, who are mostly teenagers who couldn’t care less about their work, though who need the money. One busy Friday shift, Sandra takes a call from a police officer informing her that counter-girl Becky (Dreama Walker) has stolen money from a customer’s purse. Becky denies the accusation, but Sandra is convinced by the cop that she needs to act, detaining Becky on his orders. This decision begins a series of mind games and moral manipulation that turn a bad day into a living nightmare.

Based on bizarre real-life events, Compliance was the most talked about film at the Sundance Film Festival when it premiered there in 2012. Craig Zobel’s second feature, following The Great World of Sound (LFF 2007), is bold and inventive filmmaking destined to leave a searing impression on its audience.

Michael Hayden

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Further reading

  • Film of the week: Compliance - image

    Film of the week: Compliance

    A prank call to a fast-food restaurant plumbs sado-masochist depths in this drawn-from-true-life thriller, finds Hannah McGill.

    Hannah McGill

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