For two weeks, 20 male participants are hired to play prisoners and guards in a prison. The "prisoners" have to follow seemingly mild rules, and the "guards" are told to retain order without using physical violence.
The movie is based on the infamous "Stanford Prison Experiment" conducted in 1971. A makeshift prison is set up in a research lab, complete with cells, bars and surveillance cameras. For two weeks 20 male participants are hired to play prisoners and guards. The 'prisoners' are locked up and have to follow seemingly mild rules, and the 'guards' are told simply to retain order without using physical violence. Everybody is free to quit at any time, thereby forfeiting payment. In the beginning the mood between both groups is insecure and rather emphatic. But soon quarrels arise and the wardens employ ever more drastic sanctions to confirm their authority. Written by
Although no one died in the Stanford Prison Experiment on which the movie was based, the experiment was prematurely ended after six days out of a planned two weeks. The college students assigned (randomly) to be prisoners were "withdrawing and behaving in pathological ways" as a result of the degrading treatment they received. Quite a few scenes in the movie actually happened in the original experiment, including the early fire extinguisher scene and the prisoners being forced to clean the toilets by their bare hands. See more »
As the prisoners escape, they lock the door to the cell block and break off the key, forcing the guards to go another way. However when Doctor Thon returns the door is wide open. See more »
One of the Best and Most Powerful Movies of the Year
In Germany, a group of men is invited to participate in an experience promoted by the Army. They would receive DM 4,000.00 for fourteen days performing the roles of guards and prisoners in a prison, under certain predetermined rules and monitored by a team of doctors. A journalist infiltrates in the team looking for a great matter. However, problems happen and the experience looses control, jeopardizing the integrity and the safety of the prisoners.
This movie is amazing: just released on DVD in Brazil, it is certainly one of the best films of the year. Tense, powerful, having a wonderful screenplay and outstanding direction and performances, it is another great example of how the absolute power corrupts. All the cast is magnificent, but I would like to highlight the role and the acting of Justus Von Dohnanyi, as the sadistic Berus. A must-see movie, which will certainly provoke a reaction of the viewer! It is almost impossible not to make a comparison of the situation presented in this film with the abuse and humiliation of the prisoners of Iraq recently showed on TV and newspapers. My vote is ten.
Title (Brazil): 'A Experiência' ('The Experience')
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