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The Institute (I) (2013)

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A documentary on the Jejune Institute, a mind-bending San Francisco phenomenon where 10,000 people became "inducted" without ever quite realizing what they'd signed up for.


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Feature-length documentary that examines a San Francisco-based Alternate Reality Game, where thousands of participants got more than they bargained for. Told from the players' perspectives, the film looks over the precipice at an emergent new art form where the real world and fiction narratives merge to create unforeseen and often unsettling unsettling consequences. Written by Spencer McCall

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Is it a cult? Is it a game? Or is it a life-changing adventure?



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Release Date:

11 October 2013 (USA)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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User Reviews

Imagine if the Darhma Initiative from LOST was real...
1 November 2013 | by (Hollywood, CA) – See all my reviews

Imagine if the Darhma Initiative from the TV series LOST was real...

Aren't you hooked right there? Well, I think that's how I felt watching The Institute. Hard to believe that this actually happened.

Fascinating and thought provoking. Ultimately it does make you think that modern life has hollowed out existence to the point where creating an all-consuming "game" would be the thing that sparks people back to reality.

And like the other reviewer commented, what is reality these days?

Honestly I was pulled in by the deliciously beautiful artwork. But the trailer had me about 10 seconds in, when I knew I needed to watch this to find out what the heck this is all about.

I supposed it would be nice if the ultimate objective of all this was really to create a better world, but maybe just giving people a little inspiration to be adventurous is doing just that.

When I rented the movie this morning it had just become available on iTunes and now it's up to like the top 10 in the Documentaries section, which is pretty amazing.

Maybe the game is still afoot? Maybe the Jejune Institute really is still out there pushing people's buttons.

A mystery wrapped in an enigma shrouded in subterfuge.

Gamers out there might want to put down their joysticks for 90 minutes and snack on this absurdly fun real-life game. Although apparently the people in this experiment did not like to think of it as a "game."

And I guess they are right -- just as in LOST, if you experienced it, then I suppose to some degree it is "real."

7 of 13 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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