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It's from "The Running Man" movie (1987)

In the begining there are opening credits which contain the back story of the movie.

By 2017 the world economy has collapsed. Food, natural resources and oil are in short supply. A police state, divided into paramilitary zones, rules with an iron hand. Television is controlled by the state and a sadistic game show called "The Running Man" has become the most popular program in history. All art, music and communications are censored. No dissent is tolerated and yet a small resistance movement has managed to survive underground. When high-tech gladiators are not enough to suppress the people's yearning for freedom......more direct methods become necessary

.What exactly does "direct" mean in this context?

  • immediate, focused; in context of more: stronger; in context of the dystopia: excessive, oppressive. Basically points 2 and 3 of the adjective in oxford – Hector von Apr 8 '17 at 11:40
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Direct, in this context, means straightforward. Direct methods of restricting freedom are methods that immediately cause a loss of freedom.

Providing people with the distraction of a violent TV show is an indirect way to suppress people's freedom. The relationship between the cause (the TV show) and the effect (people loose freedom) is not simple or straightforward: People watch the show -> they are not concerned with politics -> they don't protest or rebel -> the government can take their freedom.

But, this is not enough. A direct way of restricting freedom is to capture or kill protestors.

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