Film festival at Penn weighs authority, rebellion

    Billy Crudup

    Billy Crudup

    Authority and rebellion are the themes of a three-day bioethics film festival at the University of Pennsylvania starting Tuesday.

    Through movies including “The Stanford Prison Experiment,” audiences will consider ethical behavior, power, morals, and beliefs.

    “The Stanford Prison Experiment” is about a famous 1971 study that used college students to explore the effects of being a prisoner — or a prison guard.

    “One of the questions here is how far can other people tell us what to believe, are we really in control of our own morality,” said Penn bioethics professor Jonathan Moreno, who helped select the films.

    He says his field provides a framework to discuss important issues. “Bioethics has become a territory in which people can talk about human values. There is almost no other place — neutral territory — for us to do that.”

    The festival also includes a documentary about Werner Erhard, who has been called the father of the self-help movement, and a film about Timothy Leary’s LSD experiments.

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