On August 14, 1971, Stanford University psychologist Philip Zimbardo initiated an experiment that has resonated for the succeeding 44 years. Twenty-four volunteers were rounded up and randomly divided into groups of “prisoners” and “guards,” with the intent to study the psychology of individuals in the penal system. What happened is dramatized in the harrowing “Stanford Prison Experiment” and today we have an exclusive clip from the film.
Logan Miller, Tye Sheridan, Ki Hong Lee, Thomas Mann, Moises Arias, Olivia Thirlby and Billy Crudup star in the movie showing the incremental but intense breakdown in the simulated jail, as the “guards” become mad with power and the “prisoners” are degraded. In the scene below, you get a sense of how things went badly. And yet, despite the notorious outcome of his experiment, Zimbardo sees a silver lining.
“The positive take on the whole thing [is] really a celebration of the human mind’s infinite capacity to make any of us kind or cruel, caring or indifferent, creative or destructive. And it can make some of us do villainous things, and at the same time make others of us do heroic things,” he recently told the San Francisco Chronicle.
“The Stanford Prison Experiment” is now playing in limited release and hits VOD on July 24th. Watch below.