QUIET RAGE: THE STANFORD PRISON EXPERIMENT (1991 U.S.) D/W/P: KEN MUSEN W: PHILIP ZOMBARDO
In 1971, a group of students (all white middle class males) took part in an experiment at Stanford University. The basement floor of the psych department was turned into a makeshift prison with cells. The volunteers were separated into guards and prisoners and were expected to play out their roles. Originally intended to span two weeks, the experiment was discontinued after six days due to escalating sadistic behaviour on the part of the guards and some extreme distress and discomfort experimenced by the prisoners. A secret video camera documented the unethical events, and this 51 min. documentary hosted by experiment architect Zombardo is framed around fascinating b/w footage from these tapes. You may have caught the German movie DAS EXPERIMENT, based on these events. A potentially extremely important experiment (and precursor to the reality tv boom), but someone claiming to be SFE Chief Supervisor Carlo Prescott (an ex-con who knew more than anyone else involved about real-life prison enviroments) posted a message on the IMDB message board for a projected 2006 Hollywood flick (there was a disappointing one in 2010) based on SFE stating that all the guards` sadistic little mind games were suggested (and prompted) by him and others involved (like Zombardo), thus deflating it`s authenticity and reliability as a scientific study, and marking it (in his words) as nothing more than a "theatrical exercise".

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