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Discussion: Das Experiment - LiveJournal Movie Club

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Previous Entry Discussion: Das Experiment May. 20th, 2004 @ 03:47 pm Next Entry
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From:shared_boxers
Date:May 20th, 2004 01:03 pm (UTC)
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I really enjoyed this movie, and working from the benefit of having seen it before, I got a lot more out of the second time around.

One thing I noticed the second time around is that Fahd and Dora both fantasized about each other, but Fahd usually fantasized about the physical/sex parts and Dora usually fantasized about the emotional/conversation parts.

I also noticed lots of parallels between the scenario and modern-day events. Primarily, untrained individuals given a position of power and a command to maintain order with a stipulation of no violence result to some pretty harsh extremes. The use of humiliation seems to address issues of the US military in Iraq at prisons, where should we blame the situation and not the soldiers?

Having read about the Stanford Prison Experiment after seeing this movie, I could see the similarities and differences, the artistic liberties taken by the film makers, from the original story. It was obviously much more sensationalized, but the fundamental lessons are still there. People will quickly fall into roles given the proper circumstances.

The performances in the movie were top notch with Moritz Bleibtreu (Run Lola Run) giving a pretty good performance, but with a character that seems far less sympathetic when you realize he views the situation as a game and is actually instigating much of the conflict in the prison. Of course the scientists planned it this way from the get-go, so how much is he to blame? But still, had he been out of the equation, how far would have things really gone?

This movie shows a startling side of the human condition. That given the right circumstances and environmental feedback, we really are capable of almost anything, right down to some of the most dispicable acts. Every man has his limits.
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From:mike6937
Date:May 20th, 2004 08:04 pm (UTC)
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I'm with you on the Iraqi prison abuse, that was the first thing I thought of when humiliation was mentioned. To me, that showed the writers had done their research well, and gave the film more credibility.

This movie shows a startling side of the human condition. That given the right circumstances and environmental feedback, we really are capable of almost anything, right down to some of the most dispicable acts. Every man has his limits.

It's the classic 'power corrupts' idea, but I have to question how realistic the timetable is. I found myself asking the same questions I was asking after 28 Days Later... Sure, anyone can go mad or power crazy given the right circumstances, especially lawlessness/absolute power, but would it really happen so fast? I have some trouble believing most people, even those with underlying issues, would go from zero to crazy in three days, especially since the guards were allowed to leave at the end of the day. I'm getting kind of longwinded here, maybe I'll just post my overview in a new comment?
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From:shared_boxers
Date:May 20th, 2004 08:45 pm (UTC)
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but I have to question how realistic the timetable is

Well, the Stanford Prison Experiment had a rebellion on the second day, like the one that ended with the fire extinguisher in the movie. And in the actual experiment, after 5 days, it was terminated because things were getting out of hand with a planned prison escape. So, the timeline of the movie is pretty close to what actually happened in the real prison experiment.
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