Derren Brown: Sacrifice (TV Special 2018)

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Derren Brown: Sacrifice: With Derren Brown, Megan Affonso, Bob Cable, Christopher Crabinha. Illusionist Derren Brown concocts a psychological experiment in which he tries to manipulate an ordinary person into taking a bullet for a stranger

“Iu0026#39;ve always felt a great ambivalance for Derren Brown: Iu0026#39;ve watched everything heu0026#39;s ever done, but always with a strange mixture of admiration and cringing discomfort, due to the exploitative nature of his work, and how much further he crosses the line in manipulating his u0026#39;victimsu0026#39; lives and minds than other stage magicians.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eThen thereu0026#39;s the interjection of his own beliefs and opinions about the world into his act, such as his shows about faith healers and mediums, which itu0026#39;s hard to divorce from his strongly held atheism. In that instance, I think most people would forgive him, since outing charlatans can never really be that bad, can it? Doesnu0026#39;t everyone benefit from that?u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eBut this one pushes the line even further, through being so explicitly political, specifically pushing a Democrat/u0026#39;liberalu0026#39; open borders party line over immigration.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eNow, concerns about mass immigration – and especially illegal immigration, as in this instance – are widespread all over the western world today, are strongly affecting the outcome of all elections, and are probably shared by going on half the population. So to depict anyone sharing those concerns as simply a racist white nationalist is arrogant, crass and condescending, but that is what Brown does throughout, with nary a flicker of self-doubt.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eWhat is most insulting is the depiction of anyone not sharing his own political beliefs as someone needing u0026#39;curingu0026#39; of their wrongthink, pathologizing the opposing political viewpoint and then openly manipulating a personu0026#39;s mind to change them into line with how he would choose them to vote.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eI found the ease with which Brown would be happy to manipulate the political opinions of another human being, in another country, to be actually quite chilling.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eThe whole thing was way, way too partisan and preachy. If you donu0026#39;t think so, try imagine him making a show about hypnotizing a Guardian/HuffPo reader into seeing how catastrophic unchecked mass immigration is, and how they need to do something drastic about it RIGHT NOW. And, having come to that conclusion, thatu0026#39;s the happy ending.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eWell, maybe that will be Derrenu0026#39;s *next* show.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eOn top of that, as other reviewers have already pointed out, it really feels as though heu0026#39;s about run out of ideas, and so is only focusing on finding new ways to dress up old tricks weu0026#39;ve seen so many times before in new and headline-grabbing ways.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eFor all of this, itu0026#39;s still done very well, and as usual with Brown, it feels on a much more lofty level to anything else one could try to put forward as u0026#39;competitionu0026#39;. So itu0026#39;s still u0026#39;entertainingu0026#39;, I guess, but very troubling, too.”


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