Andrea Sawatzki and Christian Berkel - 65th Berlin International Film Festival (Berlinale) - Medienboard Reception (Empfang) at The Ritz-Carlton, Berlin at Hotel The Ritz Carlton at Potsdamer Platz square - Berlin, Germany - Saturday 7th February 2015
Psychologically resounding but bedeviled by somewhat preposterous plot developments, "Das Experiment" is a German thriller loosely inspired by a Stanford University study in which volunteers were placed as guards and inmates in a mock prison to see how they'd interact.
Before the 14-day trial was over, the real experiment went awry with the "guards" becoming power-mad. This film takes this concept to the next level, as one of the "prisoners" -- a former newspaper reporter (Moritz Bleibtreu, "Run Lola Run") trying to get a job-recovering juicy story -- deliberately provokes the reactionary "guards" into a slippery-slope game of domination that soon turns violent and spirals out of control.
The strapping, charismatic, intelligent, expressive Bleibtreu gives a superb performance as he asserts himself among the prisoners -- some of whom don't take well to his rabble-rousing since they just want to lie low and collect the 4,000 Marks they're promised for being guinea pigs.
Continue reading: Das Experiment Review
Take a look back at October's inaugural event.
The film is expected to continue without Mendes' involvement.