This essay discusses corruption especailly in relation to "I am the Cheese" written by Robert Cormier and the film "Witness."

Essay by mundjo May 2004

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Corruption is defined as the act of corrupting or in other words, the act of tainting, destroying fidelity or integrity, destroying morally, perverting or debasing purity. Corruption, in its many forms, is abundant in this world that we live in, so much so that it becomes the main theme of many films and novels, such as Witness or I am the Cheese. Both show many examples of corruption and they open our eyes to what is going on in the world around us. They also compel us to look more closely at governments and their agencies, and even at ordinary people on the street.

A top policeman kills one of his fellow brothers, another undercover policeman. This is an absolutely disgusting act that would make the headlines of many newspapers today. However in the film Witness, we see this horrendous crime not only committed, but then also covered up in secrecy.

In I am the Cheese we also saw a corrupt government agency that was so low in its ethics and principles that it was torturing an innocent boy. In both these instances the corruption of the police and government comes to light. And it ties in beautifully with the Royal Commission into police corruption that is being conducted in Perth at this very present time. So the police corruption that we saw in Witness was not just plucked out of thin air- it is real and it is happening. However we often do not think about such things. Hence films like Witness makes us stop and think. It certainly made me think about law enforcement agencies and whether we can actually trust them. The film, together with I am the Cheese, gave police and other government agencies a stench, a putrid odour that completely turns me away.