The Experiment / Das Experiment
Oliver Hirschbiegel, Germany, 2001.
Directed by: Oliver Hirschbiegel
Script: Don Bohlinger, Christoph Darnstaedt, Mario Giordano
Producer: Marc Conrad, Norbert Preuss, Fritz Wildfeuer
Production company: Fanes Film/Munich, Typhoon Networks, Huerth
Cinematography: Rainer Klausmann
Editing: Hans Funck
Music: Alexander van Bubenheim
Cast: Christian Berkel, Moritz Bleibtreu, Timo Dierkes, Justus von Dohnányi, Maren Eggert, Antoine Monot, Jr., Andrea Sawatzki, Edgar Selge, Oliver Stokowski
Running time: 120'
When former journalist Tarek Fahd, who presently drives a cab in the German town of Cologne, stumbles upon a newspaper ad looking for volunteers for a psychological experiment, he convinces his former boss to commission him to report undercover about the experiment, which seems to be partly funded by the army. Just before Tarek enters the experiment and agrees to live in a mock prison for two weeks, waiving his civil rights, his taxi is hit one night by the car of a young and beautiful woman. Dora has just lost her father, and she and Tarek spend a night together. But the next morning Dora has vanished and Tarek starts his ‘term’ in the ‘prison’ that has been built into the cellar of the university. In the beginning, everyone, ‘guards’ and ‘prisoners’ alike, take it as a game. When Tarek, who records the proceedings with a miniature camera hidden in his glasses, starts to provoke the ‘guards’, the situation begins to get out of hand. An unimaginable nightmare has begun.
Bavarian Film Prize 2001 – Best Direction, Best Cinematography, Best Screenplay
German Film Awards 2001 – Best Leading Actor, Supporting Actor, Production Design and Audience Award
Montreal World Film Festival 2001 – Best Direction
Oliver Hirschbiegel scored a sensational success with his first feature film 'The Experiment' (2001). Hirschbiegel has been a major presence in the German television industry since the mid 1980s. He has directed thrillers and detective dramas, including various episodes of the detective series 'Rex – A Cop´s Best Friend' and 'Tatort'. 'Downfall' (2004) is his third full-length feature film and was nominated for an Academy Award in 2005 in the category Best Foreign Language Film.
Location and screening schedule: Dance center, Friday, October 22nd at 21.00