Capital Celluloid 2023 — Day 69: Fri Mar 10

 Obedience (Milgram, 1965): Close-Up Cinema, 8.15pm

Tonight’s UK premiere of this film will be introduced by Peter Conheim 

“The legendary and controversial experiments on "obedience to authority" conducted by psychologist Stanley Milgram at Yale University in the United States have been analysed and reproduced many times by others. They have also inspired films (notably Michael Almeryeda's Experimenter, 2015), but nothing fascinates and disturbs as much as the film documenting the real experiments, Obedience by Milgram himself. Attempting to answer the questions left open by the Nuremberg trial, by the 1961 trial against the Nazi criminal Adolf Eichmann and by Hannah Arendt's fundamental writings on Eichmann which introduced the concept of "banality of badly,” Milgram conducted a series of experiments that matched “teachers” (community members who had responded to an ad convinced they were participating in a memory study) and “students.” The "teachers" were assigned the task – by a white-coated "experimenter" – of quizzing students on a predetermined set of questions and answers. If the student answered correctly, he moved on to the next question. If the student gave an incorrect answer, he received a painful electric shock from a "power generator" controlled by the teacher, with the voltage (and pain) increasing with each incorrect answer.  Generally only seen in educational contexts, Obedience has been fully restored and is now being publicly screened for the first time.”  Peter Conheim

Some outtakes from the film will be screened for the first time after the main feature.

Here (and above) is an introduction to the experiment.

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