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Derren Brown: Sacrifice (2018)

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Illusionist Derren Brown concocts a psychological experiment in which he tries to manipulate an ordinary person into taking a bullet for a stranger



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Credited cast:
Megan Affonso Megan Affonso
Derren Brown
Bob Cable Bob Cable
Christopher Crabinha Christopher Crabinha
Carlos Flores Carlos Flores ... Illegal immigrant
Woody Gebhart Woody Gebhart
Jesse Guajardo Jesse Guajardo
Sid Hultquist Sid Hultquist
Clay McDonald Clay McDonald
Rick Murray Rick Murray
John Pistone John Pistone
John J. Pistone ... Biker John
Jason Rupe Jason Rupe
Gil Sancier Gil Sancier
Andrew Stalnaher Andrew Stalnaher


Illusionist Derren Brown concocts a psychological experiment in which he tries to manipulate an ordinary person into taking a bullet for a stranger

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Release Date:

19 October 2018 (Singapore) See more »

Also Known As:

Derren Brown: Sacrifice See more »

Filming Locations:

Mojave desert, California, USA

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User Reviews

Good entertainment, but infuriatingly invalid
29 October 2018 | by rabbitmoonSee all my reviews

I feel like Derren just likes coming across as a devilish manipulator. Sometimes he likes making people do bad things (rob an armored money carrier, assassinate someone, push someone off a building) other times like this he makes people do something heroic (save a falling aeroplane, survive an apocalypse).

Regardless, he'll give it some positive pithy spin in terms of how we can all be better people blah blah blah, and not resist giving wry little edited-in smirks while nasty things are happening. Oh Derren you devil you!

The problem here is in the concept of 'making' someone do something. There's a bizarre conflict in telling the person they did it all by themselves, are a hero etc, while implying throughout the whole show that actually no - it was Derren that made them do it using all his 'clever' manipulation.

Sacrifice was like a reversal of Heist - using a bunch of empowering techniques (misdirected as NLPish embedded commands, anchoring and whatnot, but who really knows what goes on behind the scenes, I'm sure some strong hypnotic suggestibility and dual-reality helps enormously with the results), and little jingles to push a particular action. The whole point of his methods is how easily people can be influenced and manipulated, so leaves us none the wiser as to what a person would 'really' do in the circumstances - so its all pretty irrelevant.

By the time he's using it as some symbol of how 'whats possible when he step outside of narrow narratives we tell ourselves' I just cringe. Its no more inspiring or educational than a lame Facebook picture quote. Make your mind up Derren - do people really have a 'choice' or are we all influenced by one agenda, cause, trigger, stimuli, narrative after another? Find me a racist bigot who 'chooses' to take a bullet of his own free will to save the target of his racism, without all the grooming/suggestion/empowering/obvious-tv-expectations/manipulation and I'll be inspired.

By the way - how could the guy in the car, after hearing the often-played jingle play TWICE in a row, NOT realize the scene is part of the TV show? Of course he would, part of him would absolutely know its all part of an elaborate role-play linked to what's happened before, so he's going to act according to expectations. Its all a bit contrived and nonsensical, but still enjoyable as entertainment.

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