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Based on the Stanford Prison Experiment that was conducted in 1971. The real life simulation of prison life was supposed to run for two weeks but had to be ended after only 6 days as the students recruited to play guards and prisoners quickly succumbed to violence and sadism. Tarek, Moritz Bleibtreu, used to be a journalist, but now he's working as a taxi-driver in Cologne and he's a bit sick of it. So he jumps at the chance when he sees an ad offering 4,000 Deutsch Marks (this was before Euros) to take part in a government experiment, a psychological examination of men in prison. Warned that over the two-weeks of the experiment he will not be subject to Civil Rights or to privacy and that he may encounter 'extreme situations', Tarek decides to make some extra money on the side by writing a newspaper story about his experiences. The night before he has to report for the experiment, he meets Dora, Maren Eggert. Memories of her sustain him throughout the nightmare that is about to begin. The Experiment was a big commercial success in Germany last year for director Oliver Hirschbiegel, and it's a tolerably gripping thriller if not always a very convincing one. The prison movie, which this basically is, is my least favourite genre, but the filmmakers transcend the limitations of the plot with some clever scripting, in which the roots of totalitarianism are explored while, at the same time, an escapist thriller unfolds.

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