“White Bear” is the second episode of the second season in the Netflix show, Black Mirror. It was written by the series creator and showrunner Charlie Brooker and directed by Carl Tibbetts.
White bear explores many themes including justice and demonization.
There are notable similarities between White Bear and real murder cases. When an abhorrent crime occurs people create 2-d to project hatred onto. We image them as always being this way. We imagine them without families and just as being bloodthirsty criminals. We do this because it is easier than believing a “normal” person could commit such a horrific crime. Because if any “normal” person could commit such an atrocity, what does that say about us as individuals? Does that put into question whether or not we could possibly commit a crime of this sort? To calm the public the media must demonize notorious criminals to distance us from this horrifying thought process. That way, we can all join the witch hunt and be the hero of the story, moving as far away morally from the guilty. White Bear flips this on its head. Because this episode is centered around Victoria, the accomplice of a child murderer, we see her fear and pain. Seeing someone in fear and in pain makes us empathize with them. It is difficult to look someone in the eyes who is shaking with fear and believe that they are nothing more than a monster. The fact that this episode opens with Victoria alone in a house where she cannot remember anything and is then chased by murderers tugs at our empathy. She looks so terrified and no one is helping. Despite discovering that she is a child murderer at the end, it is difficult to hate her or believe that the punishment is justified. You cannot see someone’s humanity and believe that they deserve to be tortured. An example of this is war.