Terrorists in Brazil (1985)

As the over-sized, grungy truck cab trundles along, Jill asks Sam: “Have you ever seen a real terrorist?”

Sam stammers that no, but it is his first day at information retrieval.  We see the effects of terrorism: bombings, mayhem, and the elaborate ministry of information.  But Jill is never directly implicated in terrorism.  The other maverick, the mustachioed-maverick HVAC repairman Tuttle is the opposite of a terrorist.  He does not strike terror into the populace.  He is more like a do-gooder Robin Hood.

This led me to wonder: are there any real terrorists in Brazil?

We never see them planning.  We never learn of their agenda.  The only acts of resistance Gilliam offers us are solitary acts of skilled individuals.  There is sabotage (Sam rerouting the pneumatic message tube), random acts of kindness (Jill helping Mrs. Buttle), and covert repair work (Tuttle’s repair work).  There are no terrorists in his imagined, satirical society.

But there are explosions.

In the elevator at the MOI, as they descend, Sam suggests to his erstwhile friend and Information Retrieval officer, Jack, that Kill and Tuttle arre only coincidentally related.  Jack’s assured reply:

There are no coincidences, Sam.

Everything’s connected, all along the

line. Cause and effect. That’s the

beauty of it. Our job is to trace the

connections and reveal them.

PS: I found a script here. Parts of it are right, but parts much different.  I did not do anything to check authenticity of this version.

What is the cause of the explosions?  We see over and over again that despite the efforts of Central Service and the society in general to control the environment and  provide a comfortable existence, as symbolized by the snaking duct work everywhere, those systems break, sputter, and explode into a pristine, sterile environment.  The best candidate for the explosions is further infrastructure problems or mistakes.  Since there can be no mistake from within the organization, and no coincidence as Jack states above, then MOI’s job is to find the way everything is connected.  Voila!  Terrorists invented, and the need to find and interrogate them.  Since they don’t really exist, MOI can continue to grow with no worry of ever actually brutally finishing its job.


One Response

  1. Terrorists in Brazil (1985) BlOrg Theory is an interesting name for a blog, keep up the good work, thanks, from Sonya Short

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