Privacy. The definition reads “the state or condition of being free from being observed or disturbed by other people.” I could look up countless parenting books that have their individual opinions on how to raise their children. One fact that they might provide is that, no matter the age of a minor, they are still young enough for parents to consider putting locks on their devices. Privacy isn’t just about leaving people alone, it’s a necessity for a human to fully develop a piece of mind. Personally, my parents don’t allow me to shut my bedroom door unless I’m getting ready. It’s not like I will go insane the moment my door opens. It’s just a collection of tiny moments that unconsciously build up over time. Privacy better grows one’s ability to choose their thoughts and feelings and who they share them with.
Privacy, particularly in the movie Spirited Away, is an important topic to note, especially considering the time period that it was made in. In this world, Yubaba controlled her ‘employees’ by completely removing all of their privacy, including their freedom and their own name. Since they were never able to question why they had someone micromanaging them, they simply accepted it as the bleak reality that they couldn’t escape from. This basic human right that many characters saw as an undesirable, foolish need was completely stripped away. This allowed Yubaba to control Haku, an ancient river spirit.
Godfrey Daniels, the discoverer of the Mojave Phone booth, had his obsession start solely due to the hidden nature of the phone booth. A little bit of privacy can lead to mystery, which can in turn lead to attraction, since people are naturally attracted to things that they don’t understand. This is one of the reasons why research is conducted; since people labeled as an ‘innovator’ or ‘scientist’ scratched their head one day and wondered why something happened. Daniels experienced the exact same thing. He was constantly asking himself “What if someone picked up”, even after admitting to himself that “I had no right to expect that anyone would pick up.”
This idea of slowly going insane without privacy is perfectly showcased in Scavengers, a short film where two nameless individuals find themselves stranded on a foreign planet alone. Viewers can see how the pair are so used to their typical processes, they don’t even require communication. Instead, they only use simple hand signals or glances at one another. They seem to be so accustomed to this unearthly place that they completely violate the privacy of all creatures and plants there, sparing nothing in their apparent quest to catch a fleeting glimpse of their peaceful world back home. Perhaps it was simply the goal of getting back home that drove them, but it also could have been the fact that they had absolutely no privacy from one another in this new world. There was no need to speak, but was it because there was a danger from speaking in the foreign world? This connects back to how some people who have relationships without any privacy are built around fear, fear that might vary of what they might do if you speak up about it.