FILMMAKER Adam Sinclair, 29, released a short film about diffusion of responsibility in November last year called Sanzaru, which depicts a group of college students discussing the theory and exploring the mindset of people in those situations.
“You can argue that young Malaysians are less responsible now, but I believe the theory applies to everyone, all over the world. That’s just the way people are – you will assume someone else will help when there are more people around,” he said.
Sinclair decided to produce the short film after a friend’s fiancé was kidnapped. He had previously learned about diffusion of responsibility theory from a friend, and being concerned with the number of crime cases affecting those around him, he decided to remind people about the importance of looking out for one another.
“I wanted to educate people about it (diffusion of responsibility). We can all be like that. We can switch off, and think that someone else will help,” he said.
The response to the film so far, has been telling. It has been viewed over 70,000 times on YouTube in just six months, and it won the best short film award at the 2013 Malaysia Film Festival.
“A lot of people said it was an eye-opener. Some said they felt guilty; and I’ve been guilty of it as well! I’ve ignored some people who looked like they needed help, and I didn’t want people to make the same mistakes I did. That was the goal of the film – to make people aware about this,” he added.