Written and directed by Paul Raschid, WHITE CHAMBER, filmed in a mere 12.5 days, takes us into a near future that is entirely believable considering the world’s current political climate. This psychological thriller holds you at the edge of your seat until the very end, and when you think it’s done, Raschid has one more twist for you, never letting up.
Who, exactly, are the bad guys and the good guys in a “civil war”?
The movie opens on a woman held hostage in a small room, void of distinction other than its complete lack of distinction. An altered voice puts her through a series of questions and punishments to show us just what kinds of torture this space is capable of, and though she pleads a lack of knowledge, her captor tests her repeatedly; does she deserve it? A flashback of the previous five days slowly brings us up to speed: who this woman is, her partners, why they’re all there, and who her captor is.
Dr Elle Chrysler (Shauna Macdonald) leads a research team, assisted by Saundra (Sharon Maughan), Ed (Nicholas Ferrell), and new to the team is Ruth (Amrita Acharia). Their victim/test subject is known only as Zakarian (Oded Fehr), and according to Dr Chrysler, he is the enemy. In the search for chemically enhanced soldiers, the facility uses chemical and psychological torture to test Zakarian. I’ve often mused that the truest way to torture someone is to force them to watch a loved one suffer, and Raschid puts this theory to the test brutally. Ruth is young, and in her own words, has no stakes in this war, her family is safe, and the war has never touched her, but as she continues to witness the testing done in this facility, she begins to question the research and the treatment of Zakarian, becoming just as much a victim of this research as he.
WHITE CHAMBER is a harsh, and real, look at what lengths a government will go to squash a civil war, to regain control of a people that dare stand up to the growing injustices foisted upon them at the hands of a broken government. Is White Chamber a futuristic psychological thriller, or is it, like Idiocracy, a warning?
WHITE CHAMBER arrives in select theaters and on VOD March 29, 2019, from Dark Sky Films.