6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
intense, harrowing german cinema,
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This review is from: Das Experiment [DVD]  (DVD)
a fascinating, claustrophic film based on the stanford prison experiment and released at roughly the same time (according to another reviewer) as a bbc spin on the same. having an interest in sociology and psychology i was aware of the us study and avidly watched the bbc show. both saw one group seize control and had to be abandoned - the guards ruled the roost in the us, the prisoners in england (the guards were just too nice!).
here its the turn of the guards as one inmate's (bleibtrue)attempts to up the ante prompt the guards do respond in kind. despite the presence of (i think) an army colenel (sp) as an observer things very quickly spiral out of control. excellently acted throughout, the tension builds as the director introduces 'the black box'. being slightly claustrophobic myself i was in full sympathy with bleibtrue. the 'love interest' bit did feel a bit tacked on, but its a true reflection of how groups act, with the shellshocked faces at the end saying it all.
this was an excellent base for the director to go on and do the similar;y excellent and claustrophobic 'downfall'. its not an easy watch (this from the person who found himself squirming during the potholing scenes in 'the descent'), but then that's not why we're here, is it?