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by Robert Rippberger & Tobias Deml
Cinema of Change

Philip Zimbardo: The Psychology Behind a Cinema of Change


Welcome to the Cinema of Change podcast with Tobias Deml and Robert Rippberger. Cinema of Change is a magazine and community that challenges the conventions of film and its ability to effect change in the world. Join us for The Psychology Behind a Cinema of Change with our guest Philip Zimbardo. Professor Zimbardo was born in 1933 and taught Pyschology at Yale, NYU and Stanford University. In 1971, he conducted the world famous Stanford Prison Experiment where 24 students were put into a mock prisoner and guard situation for a week. The experiment escalated to such a degree that it had to be stopped, and is now a hallmark of psychological research in the effects that conformity and authority can have on people. Zimbardo went on to study the nature of evil and recently founded the Heroic Imagination project, where he studies how people can take effective action in challenging situations. In this episode we discuss:
  • 2:24 - Media and its influence.
  • 7:50 - The dangers of influence and how people get corrupted.
  • 12:10 - Bling propagandists.
  • 23:09 - Power in systems and for filmmakers.
  • 32:41 - Encouraging critical thinking.
  • 39:43 - Commercial films & critical thought.
  • 41:43 - Involving the leveling power of the audience
  • 49:56 - The Standford Prison Experiment Movie & films that work
  • 58:16 - Challenging audiences
  • 1:01:16 - Presenting uncomfortable content
  • 1:06:03 - What a Cinema of Change should be
  • 1:14:27 - A final recommendation to filmmakers.
We hope you find this conversation interesting and evocative. Subscribe to make sure you don’t miss an episode. Until next time, be the change that you want to see in the world. And then turn it into cinema.



by Robert Rippberger & Tobias Deml