Confronting evil
Jersey City filmmaker poses the timeless question: What would you do?
by E. Assata Wright
Reporter staff writer
Jan 24, 2013 | 4511 views | 0 0 comments | 12 12 recommendations | email to a friend | print
On its surface, the plot for “a Dangerous Place” seems far-fetched. But in this post-9/11 age, the scenario may not be too far off the mark.
On its surface, the plot for “a Dangerous Place” seems far-fetched. But in this post-9/11 age, the scenario may not be too far off the mark.
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As a society, how cynical have we become?

For a possible answer, movie buffs and conspiracy theorists may want to consider the new film “A Dangerous Place.” The action thriller, which was written and directed by Jersey City resident Gregory Corrado, centers on employees at a pharmaceutical company who intentionally unleashes a virus on the public so that the company can profit from prescription sales of the antidote.

On its surface, the plot seems far-fetched. But in this post-9/11 age of mailed Anthrax, the scenario may not be too far off the mark.

“I can see why people may consider the film to have a cynical plot on its surface,” said co-producer David W. Schoner Jr., who made the “A Dangerous Place” with Corrado. “The title actually comes from a quote from Albert Einstein in which he pointed out that real evil doesn’t come from evil acts from bad people. True evil, according to Einstein, actually comes from the people who witness the bad deeds of others and stand by and do nothing. To him, that was the real evil in our world.”

The film’s central character, Clare, played by Kristen Dalton, is an executive at the pharmaceutical firm who learns of her co-workers’ plot and must decide whether to stand on the sidelines while millions of innocent people are made ill – and thousands die – or intervene to prevent a major public health catastrophe.

Schoner said the movie tries to subtly explore themes and good and evil and poses to viewers the question, “What would you do?”

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‘How many people say nothing when they see smaller injustices at work or in the grocery store?’

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“Of course, we aren’t normally faced with moral questions of that magnitude,” said Schoner. “Normally in our day-to-day lives we’re faced with much smaller moral dilemmas. But in a way, that’s our real challenge. People usually think, ‘If I saw mass genocide, I’d speak out. I wouldn’t let that happen.’ But how many people say nothing when they see smaller injustices at work or in the grocery store? We see things or hear things, and we turn away. We don’t want to get involved. We say those things are different from murder or genocide. But, really, they are all part of the same continuum.”

But Schoner insists “A Dangerous Place” isn’t preachy or heavy-handed in delivering this message.

“Our movie puts you in a dangerous place, literally,” said Corrado. “The real threat of a terrorist attack is ever present in our lives post-9/11. You can feel it in every airport, every train station, and even at the local football game. So, in that sense, the movie is very timely.”

“A Dangerous Place” received a limited theater release this month but has already been a winner on the film festival circuit.

The movie won Best Feature at the Real to Reel Film Festival in North Carolina and the Film Festival of Colorado. At the Garden State Film Festival B, where the film broke the 10-year box office record for paid attendance and pre-sales, “A Dangerous Place” won the Audience Award. Recent festival official selections include the Prescott (Arizona) and CineVegas Film Festivals.

After spending a year showing the movie on the festival circuit, Corrado and Schoner have decided to give “A Dangerous Place” a digital release, meaning the movie can be seen through various online movie streaming services.

E-mail E. Assata Wright at awright@hudsonreporter.com.

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