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Bias

By Brian Shaer | April 29, 2020

Bias is a fascinating movie. Filmmaker Robin Hauser and her team dig deep into a topic that most people find rather uncomfortable to discuss: implicit (also known as “unconscious”) bias and how it shapes our world. In exploring this psychological construct, Hauser queries distinguished scholars, academics, business people, among others, as well as the viewer, about the sometimes ugly truths that are, perhaps, innate to the mindsets of all human beings.

Bias proposes some deeply profound questions about human nature and how individuals view the world. Hauser’s conclusions without question leave the viewer gobsmacked. Yet, does such power, in and of itself, dictate that Bias is a movie you should pay money to see? Not exactly.

“…Hauser and her team dig deep into…implicit bias and how it shapes our world.”

While the subject matter of Bias is undoubtedly controversial and unquestionably compelling, the movie resembles an elaborate training or educational film. The film belongs in a college psychology class or a professional training seminar rather than movie theaters. There is just so much information and scientific studies (including countless graphs, charts, and factoids) being thrown at the viewer, that I found myself taking notes as I did in college and not as though I was reviewing a movie.

The science is truly mind-blowing. One behavioral experiment has Hauser participating in a simulated training exercise with police officers intended to measure implicit bias in law enforcement and to gauge objective threat threshold. In another, Hauser takes part in an activity in which she transforms via virtual reality into a black woman, gaining a brief perspective on how she might experience life if she weren’t the attractive blond that she is.

Bias (2020)

Directed: Robin Hauser

Written:

Starring: Judith Michelle Williams, Mahzarin Banaji, Krista Morgan, Howard Ross, Nirav Tolia, Ronald Tyler, Abby Wambach, Libby Schaaf, etc.

Movie score: 7.5/10

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"…might work better and more effectively as...a limited series..."

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