Reflection on the film 12 Angry Men
The problem of prejudice and the difficulty faced by the jurors in decision making process is still an unresolved problem in the global context. In the beginning, most of the jurors were against the culprit. In the end, all the jurors came to know that their decision is based upon their personal opinions on the immigrant population. My personal opinion/reflection on the film 12 Angry Men is divided into three sections: prejudice, racial supremacy, and misuse of law. Prejudice I am of the opinion that the director made use of the protagonist (the immigrant boy, probably from Puerto Rican Island) to unmask the depth of prejudice against immigrants in America. I believe that prejudice based upon racial and cultural identity is an important problem faced by a member who belongs to an immigrant community. If we are not from an immigrant community, there exists less possibility to have deeper understanding on this problem. Within this context, the director makes use of the protagonist as a medium to express his opinion on the problem faced by immigrants. In the beginning of the film, the jury, which consists of 12 members, does not show any particular interest in the emotional trauma faced by the boy. Biskind (2001) made clear that, “In the view of the strong case against the defendant, it is not too surprising that the jury’s first straw vote comes out 11 to 1 for conviction” (p.11). ...
So, in my opinion, the film portrays how prejudice affects the smooth functioning of law and order in a modern society. Racial superiority I think racial superiority is a myth based upon false opinion, not upon fact. The elite class in the society considers that their status in the society is indebted to their racial identity. But one cannot prove that racial identity determines one’s superiority over others. So, I am totally against racial superiority. One of the factors which attracted me towards this film is the director’s attempt to expose that racial superiority is a myth. In the film, the boy is the victim of racial superiority/racial supremacy. For instance, most of the members of the jury are white middle class men. Still, all the members are from different layers of the society. Most of them do not try to allow the boy to prove his innocence. On the other side, juror 8, an architect by profession, is not ready to act against the boy. Later, some of the jurors like Juror 5 and Juror 11 decide to change their opinion. Still, Juror 3’s wavering nature hinders the jury members to have a unanimous decision. In the film, most of the jury members are not aware of their role in decision making process because they act according to the false beliefs in the society. One can see that most of the jury members are middle aged and their personal opinions on the immigrants deeply influence their decisions. So, the film helped me to know more about the problem of prejudice based upon racial superiority. Misuse of law I consider this film as an eye-opener to those who believe that death penalty can reduce crime in the society. On the other side, law is misused to victimize innocent individuals who are not