Do not let the German language put you off, this movie is awesome. Based on a true event, it’s sometimes shown on colleges and universities as an educational film. In order to fully understand what the fuck is happening here, the best course to take is to chronologically follow the evolution of this experiment, with links that can be found below the review. The whole thing started with the Milgram experiment back in 1961, when psychologist Stanley Milgram decided to experiment on obedience to authority figures. I recommend that you check out the movie Experimenter detailing his efforts. The experiment that served as basis for this movie is the famous Stanford prison experiment, which happened almost exactly like in the movie. After these two, both the British and American scientist have conducted similar experiments with similar results.
Directed by Oliver Hirschbiegel, Das Experiment showed us the true potential of this director, who went on to work on such movies as Der Untergang, The Invasion and Five Minutes of Heaven. It is a very intense movie with an increasingly suspenseful atmosphere, but the thing that got me were the characters. They all seemed very realistic and this helped with the empathy immensely. If you add to all this an original and true story, the choice is clear: you must check out this masterpiece. I will not bore you with the psychological analysis and other philosophical questions that the movie poses.
Tarek Fahd is a taxi driver in Germany. He’s having monetary issues, so when he sees an ad for an experiment that pays handsomely to the applicants, he decides to sign up. Soon, he learns what the experiment is about: people randomly apply to the experiment and then are divided into prisoners and guards. They must maintain their roles and act accordingly. What follows is something that was both expected and unexpected….
Throughout this review, there have been several references that this is a true story, so I have to be clear about one thing: this is not a documentary or a documentary-style flick, but a full-blown thriller with some nice cinematography and camerawork. Granted, a couple of things could have been better, but technical details fade away in front of this rock-hard story. Enjoy.
Director: Oliver Hirschbiegel
Cast: Moritz Bleibtreu, Christian Berkel, Oliver Stokowski, Thorsten Dersch, Danny Richter