Dare to be different

As part of an extended mid-life resume (crisis?) I have been viewing again some of my favourite films many from decades ago.

“Twelve Angry Men” is set entirely within a jury room, filmed in black and white and appears to reflect a world very different from today – So what relevance can it have in informing our 21 st century frenetic lifestyles? Draw your conclusions from the summary below.

Our “hero” has the temerity to suggest that the jurors have a discussion about the evidence presented before condemning a young Hispanic to the gallows for murder. He wants to hear the opinion of his fellows and keep an open mind before casting his vote. As a consequence he attracts opprobrium yet holds his nerve and eventually one by one the “twelve good men and true” (no women – how antiquated!) are swayed and forced to confront their own rigid mindsets.

By degree the debate reveals that the case for the prosecution is found to be riddled with half-truths, speculation and “urban myth”. A number of the jurors originally convinced it was a classic open and shut case are revealed as bigots and become isolated as the balance swings towards the verdict of innocent.