The Game of Death (2010)

Genres - Culture & Society, Film, TV & Radio  |   Sub-Genres - Psychology, Sociology  |   Run Time - 95 min.  |   Countries - France  |   MPAA Rating - NR
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Synopsis by Mark Deming

In 1961, psychologist Stanley Milgram conducted an infamous experiment to see what limits people would go to obey orders. Milgram recruited forty volunteers and told them they were to ask a subject a series of questions, and when the answers they received were incorrect, they were to give the subject an electric shock, at levels ranging from 15 to 450 volts. Milgram's findings showed that with minimal prompting, the recruits were willing to shock their subjects until they shrieked in agony and passed out if they believed that's what they were expected to do and someone else would be held responsible for any injury. As it happens, the person receiving the "shocks" was an actor only pretending to suffer and the equipment was fake, but the volunteers didn't know this until after the fact. Filmmaker Christophe Nick puts a new spin on Milgram's experiment in the documentary Le Jeu de la Mort (aka The Game of Death). In Nick's film, the experiment take the form of a game show, in which volunteers are supposed to inflict punishment on a contestant hoping to win a cash prize. How much pain will ordinary people force upon a stranger in the name of following the rules and letting the show go on? The Game of Death received its North American debut at the 2010 {



electrocution, evil, experiment, game-show, research, shock