I love movies very much. So I'd like to talk about a movie that made a deep impression on me.
I'm studying Social Psychology now, and I take a seminar about the field. A member of the seminar recommended a movie to me that relates to social psychology. I soon became interested in it because the movie is based on a real-life experiment. The title of the movie is Es in Japan. But it is a German movie made in 2001 and its title is Das Experiment (The Experiment in the United States). When the movie was over, I felt fear because it depicted the dark nature that everyone has.
The movie is inspired by the Stanford Prison Experiment of the 1970s and based on the novel Black Box by Mario Giordano. The experiment was conducted by Prof. Philip G. Zimbardo, who has been teaching at Stanford University for over thirty years. In 1971, college student volunteers were asked to role-play as prisoners and guards in a simulated prison for two weeks. But the guards quickly became so sadistic, and the prisoners so depressed, that the experiment was abandoned after just six days. In the movie, this process is described more shockingly and violently; some fictional drama was added, for example, ordinary people take the place of the college student volunteers.
The brilliance of this movie is the change of characters of the guards. They are given great power to keep order in the prison, and are placed in circumstances where they dominate over weak prisoners. They quickly become more aggressive and begin to abuse their power. To make matters worse, each abuse on the part of the guards leads to rebellion on the part of the prisoners in an escalating sequence of violence with murderous consequences. But they are ordinary people rather than sadists or criminals, which suggests that uniforms and the roles they are assigned may amplify underlying psychological tendencies under such circumstances.
We don’t necessarily have anything to do with such things mentioned above. Still, Das Experiment will make you think about human nature. This is an excellent film; I recommend it to everyone, but the destructive potential of human nature may disturb you.
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