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The Shock Room Hero


Presented in association with RMIT's nonfiction Lab

Shock Room

Unclassified 18+

25 Nov

We do as we're told. Or do we? 

A compelling new feature documentary, Shock Room breaks open Stanley Milgram’s dramatic ‘Obedience to Authority’ experiment and forces us to re-evaluate its conclusions. In the wake of the Holocaust, Milgram wanted to understand why people inflict harm on others.  Under the guise of participating in a study on memory and learning, Milgram asked participants to inflict apparently lethal shocks on a fellow human being.

  • Milgram later famously claimed that 65% of us will blindly follow orders. However, in her latest film, self-professed Milgram obsessive, Kathryn Millard (Travelling Light, Parklands) reveals that although Milgram ran more than 25 versions of his experiment, he filmed only one. Overall, the majority of people actually resisted.

    In Shock Room, Millard contends that Milgram's experiment is also as much a drama as it is a laboratory study, not just a rich source of insights into why people obey and resist their consciences. Milgram himself described his experiments as a fusion of art and science.

    Fifty years after Milgram’s original experiments, Millard, with a team of filmmakers and psychologists, re-staged Milgram’s experiments with actors using a unique immersive realism technique. Shock Room combines dramatisations, animation, archival film and interviews with psychologists Alex Haslam and Steve Reicher, providing new insights about how and why people refuse to inflict harm and the conclusions of the world’s most famous psychology experiment.

    Following the screening of Shock Room, join director Kathryn Millard on stage to discuss her latest project. Shock Room won 'Best Australian Feature Documentary' at Antenna Documentary Festival.