1961. Stanley Milgram designs a psychology experiment in which people think they deliver electric shocks to a stranger in another room. Milgram is trying to come to terms with the Holocaust. His experiment is about conformity, conscience and free will. He doesn't expect the results, 65% of the subjects deliver shocks that may be fatal, obeying commands from a lab-coated authority figure. Milgram is accused of being a monster. Fortified by the love of his family, Milgram carries on, exploring human nature, fighting false perceptions. The film's style is as playful and provocative as a Milgram experiment, showing how Milgram's conscience and creative spirit continue to be resonant and inspirational.
Read review from rogerebert.com
- Do you think the electric shock experiment was manipulative and unethical or a valid social science inquiry?
- For most people, obedience to perceived authorities seems hard-wired into us, even when our conscience has doubts. Why do you think we obey so willingly?
- There is relatively little suspense in the movie. False props like black-and-white backgrounds and elephants are used. We find out little about the inner life of Stanley Milgram. What do think this ‘experimental' filmmaker is trying to say about our choice-making ability in viewing a movie, and more importantly, living our everyday lives?
- How do you respond to authority figures? Are you naturally reactionary or obedient? How does one respond from a deeper motivation, neither reactionary or obedient? If you see the ‘puppet strings’ in yourself, can you make different choices?
- Does Milgram’s experiments give us new insight into why Nazism’s Holocaust or America’s atrocities in Vietnam occurred? Is this cause for despair or hope?
- What lesson does this movie have if your desire is to live a life of faith?
- The review suggests Milgram's experiement findings could have been used to educate us in awareness. Do you agree? Why do you think this was never adopted ?