Back in the gladiator times, the people were forced by their overseers to do their biddings. Gladiators had no choice in whether to fight or not. If they did not do as they were told, then they would face certain death. This silent film follows the theme of a coercive power struggle throughout, with death around every corner. Failure to listen and obey is not an option.
In the silent film, the action begins quickly! The slave master forces two gladiators to fight to the death. Toward the end of the practice fight scene, Raiden Maximus refuses to kill Bong El Luchador, Raiden Maximus’ opponent, so his master kills El Luchador. If one were to look through a lens during the time of the gladiators, this was huge deal. A slave who was trying to rebel against his slave master could have resulted in the certain death of the slave. In this case, it did not, only because the slave master wanted to force Raiden Maximus to do her bidding later in a large scale arena fight. This is all showing coercive power. In the background, bets were taking place between many different citizens throughout the entire fight scene. Some of the spectators came just for sheer entertainment while others just wanted to see murder occur.
The silent film viewed from a modern lens is quite different. This same scene would be somewhat normal and display no emotional content in the story characters or its viewers. It would be viewed as an entertaining fight. It is quite alarming to me how the common use of fight scenes such as video games have a desensitizing nature on young people today. The people in this movie are literally fighting for their lives. People are dying and they need help. It makes one want to scream out and say call the police and break up the fight. These people need to go to anger management camp.
The elements of being controlled like slaves are practically gone. Though, it may still be happening somewhere, it is highly unlikely in modern society. In the overall sense, the court would decide based on a majority decision, which would be completely unheard of back in gladiator times. It is great to know today that we can make our own decisions and do what we want to do. We would not be forced to train day after day to just to give an entertaining show to our “ring master” or “slave master”. Although, the element of gambling is still extremely common today with casinos and so forth, human life is not at stake. Just like in the past though, the places that gambling do exist today, but not with the involvement of human life. Today we have a significant amount of freedoms than back in the days of the gladiators.
The coercive power throughout Circus Maximus was pretty clear. This can be seen from forcing slaves to kill each other to gaining wealth from the entertaining arena fights. Modern views would still see this as entertainment, only because no one actually dies.