Camp game goes too far in ‘How To Make It in the Promised Land’ short film

A camp director unwittingly uses the Stanford Prison Experiment as inspiration for a Holocaust role-playing game at a Jewish camp in the crowd-funded short film How to Make It to the Promised Land.

Like the famous and highly unethical 1971 study, campers at the fictional Camp Shalom are split up into two groups and given cards identifying them either as SS guards or Jewish people in the Nazi-occupied Poland of 1940. The Jewish campers are forced to wear yellow stars and need to secure visas to get to the U.S. to win the game.


Lizzie (Marlane Barnes) and her friend Kron (Lia Avraham) are as disinterested in the game as they are in Color War but quickly discover that those portraying the SS guards aren’t in the same boat. Lines are drawn and friends become enemies as the well-intentioned game meant to show why the Holocaust must never be forgotten gets way out of hand.

Based on a short story by Ellen Umansky, the 16-minute film was written and directed by Sam Zalutsky and filmed at VT Ranch in Santa Clara, California. A grant from the Jerome Foundation and a Kickstarter campaign funded the production.

Watch below or on Vimeo.

via Short of the Week

Matt Ralph

Matt Ralph

I'm the editor of Summer Camp Culture and also blog at and I live in the Philadelphia area and went to camps and camp meetings growing up in Ohio, Maryland and New Jersey.

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