List Film

The Experiment (Das Experiment)

  • 2002
  • Germany
  • 115 min
  • 18
  • Directed by: Oliver Hirschbiegel
  • Cast: Moritz Bleibtreu, Justus von Dohnànyi, Andrea Sawatzki

Although Hirschbiegel's film is adapted from Maria Giordano's novel 'Black Box', its basis lies in true fact - the infamous 1971 Stanford University psychology department experiment in which a group of men became guinea pigs in a prison simulation scenario. With shocking speed they lose their sense of identity and assume the role of guards and prisoners, the former abusing the latter and the latter accepting their lot. Hirschbiegel's film finds a disturbing parallel in the rise to power of Nazism, and the director effectively maintains an oppressive atmosphere and building sense of dread, although early scenes are overly concerned with style.

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