The terrorists win

Photo courtesy Columbia Pictures

After a hacking group released several upcoming Sony films to the Internet and threatened a “9/11 style attack” on theaters that showed it, theater chains began to back out of showing Sony’s The Interview. The company has pulled it from its Dec. 25 release date and has no further distribution plans.

All threats, even after they’ve been followed through on, are hollow until given life by those who’ve been threatened. People making demands with threats of violence aren’t after violence, they’re after their demands. They’re after the submission of the people they threaten. Even if there were mass sieges on theaters the night of the films release, which sounds a lot like North Korea’s threat to nuke Austin a few years back, the people laying the sieges wouldn’t have what they wanted — for this movie not to be shown. For the people pulling the strings to be so afraid that they would write off the millions of dollars and countless hours of work that had been put into it.

Say what you will about their movies — this particular one seemed… interesting, at best — but Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg have a very distinctive style and put a lot of themselves into their films. If it was released, this movie definitely wouldn’t have been just about money.

For the past century or so, movies have been the primary mode of human storytelling. They are a gateway to our culture and state of mind. It is a great sadness that they are so easily controlled.

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