The Angry Eye (Brown Eyes Blue Eyes Experiment)

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The Angry Eye (Brown Eyes Blue Eyes Experiment)

  • DVD
Price: $295.00


Angry Eye is a dynamic and provocative documentary, showcasing Jane Elliott's world famous Blue-Eyed/Brown-Eyed exercise in discrimination. The tables are turned on white American college students as they are forced to experience the same kind of racist treatment African-Americans and other minorities have been receiving for years.

In the documentary, students' reactions are intercut with Elliott's observations. The film is disturbing -- both for the participants and for the viewers -- who are made to confront their own prejudices.

Preview Clip only online.
Length: 35:00 Minutes
Key points

Additional Information

  • Audience Favorite -- Palm Springs International Film Festival
  • Winner 2001 NY Festivals Gold WorldMedal
  • Winner 2001 Cine Golden Eagle (Washington, DC)
  • Winner 2001 Chris Award -- Columbus Film & Video Festival
  • Best2Buy winner for 2003-2004 by Training Media Review and Training & Development magazine
Package Includes

Additional Information

DVD (with Closed Captioning), Discussion Guide
More Info

Additional Information

Best2buy Winner: The Angry Eye
by Cindy Huggett

The Angry Eye was selected a Best2Buy winner for 2003-2004 by Training Media Review and T+D magazine in the video category. Here is Cindy Huggett's explanation of her choice.

Provocative, real, full of emotion -- those words describe The Angry Eye, a documentary of Jane Elliott's famous diversity exercise. This powerful activity has participants experience discrimination firsthand and causes viewers to feel as if they're in the middle of the action.

The diversity lesson begins as a group of participants approach a registration table. Elliott is rude to the blue-eyed participants and puts collars on them. Then the participants are separated into two rooms based on their eye color. The blue-eyed room has only three chairs for 12 participants, while the brown-eyed room has plenty of chairs for all.

Before the groups are joined together, Elliott instructs the brown-eyes to treat the blue-eyes as inferior. When the blue-eyes enter the main room, they're forced to sit in the middle, as if they're on display for all to see. Posters on the walls belittle the blue-eyes with such phrases as, "If I have but one life, let me live it as a brown."

As the blue-eyes read the posters aloud, Elliott talks about racism and the inexcusable treatment of people who are different. Even though some of the blue-eyes break down in tears -- one leaves the room -- the uncomfortable experience continues. Elliott is unapologetic, explaining her reasons for conducting the program in this manner.

Viewers can't watch this video without having some kind of emotional reaction. Its powerful message sinks deep. Because of that, only experienced facilitators should run this program and sponsoring organizations should be aware of the risk involved.

Such an unsettling, emotional video requires strong supporting materials. In this case, they're excellent. The Angry Eye is a fantastic diversity training program, and it deserves recognition as this year's best.

Cindy Huggett has over 10 years experience in the training and development field. She's currently the Learning and Development Manager for Kinetic Systems, Inc., with expertise in both technical and soft skills training programs.

From Training Media Review, Copyright ©2004 TMR Publications. Reprinted by permission.

An Uncommon Training Video: The Angry Eye
by Valerie L. Smith

The Angry Eye, video, 2000, 235 min., Elliott & Elliott Inc. in cooperation with Pennsylvania Production Associates Inc., $295 video or DVD; $494.95 video or DVD plus print ancillaries (leader guide, participant guides, slides). Review copy provided by Trainer's Toolchest (877-288-6657,

The first things worth mentioning in this review are the packaging of the program and the distributor's customer service. Trainer's Toolchest provided a copy of the video, as well as facilitation and participant guides -- plus a bag of popcorn. The production quality of the materials is outstanding, as is their customer service. My request for additional product and information was handled promptly and professionally.

Not the standard treatment

The Angry Eye is definitely not the standard diversity video. It is a documentary of a diversity training session conducted by Jane Elliott on a college campus. As many of us know, she is not the typical diversity trainer. Her participants generally begin learning about diversity from the moment they enter the training facility. In this video, as soon as the participants approach the registration table, the lessons begin.

Elliott is rude to the blue-eyed participants and puts collars on them. Participants are separated into two rooms. One room has chairs for all; the other has three chairs for 12 people. When the blue-eyed participants come into the main room, Elliott instructs them to sit in the middle of the room. Some have to sit on the floor.

There were several charts on the walls denigrating people with blue eyes:

"Only brown eyes need apply."

"Why can't a blue eye be more like a brown?"

"I'm not prejudiced, some of my best friends are blue eyed."

"Blue eyes make good secretaries."

"If I have but one life, let me live it as a brown."

The brown-eyed participants have been instructed to treat the blue-eyed participants as inferior. Elliott tells them that blue-eyed participants are not smart or clean, and they should lower their expectations. "White people's number one freedom in the United States is the freedom to be totally ignorant about those who are other than white and we don't have to learn about those who are other than white. And the number two freedom is to deny that we are ignorant."

She also asserts that whites make laws to support and reinforce white supremacy and that those laws are changed only when nonwhites become aware of their effects.

Tension consistently fills the air. Elliott talks about poor treatment of persons who are different. She gives examples of James Byrd and Matthew Sheppard. Two bue-eyed participants cry in class from the stress of the experiment. Jane analogizes this to the harsh treatment that people of color experience on a daily basis.

She does not apologize for her tactics. Racism, she says, is not nice. The white participants can leave the exercise and go back to a safe environment; people of color do not have that choice.

Complete package

The facilitator guide offers suggestions for trainers to explore issues around biases and assumptions. It has a list of difficult questions that participants may ask and suggested responses. The guide outlines several exercises that allow participants to take a closer look at their own perceptions of others and how these perceptions influence performance. The book is comprehensive enough to allow the trainer to select relevant exercises for their audience and time contraints. There are also several ideas on handling group dynamics. The accompanying participant guide is also outstanding.


This is a fantasic video package. Jane Elliott consistently creates microcosms of society in her classrooms. People are stressed to the point where they begin to experience the racism that many experience on a daily basis. If you are looking for a package that digs into the roots of the diversity issue, purchase this one. But be aware that this level of realism also creates a high level of risk for the sponsoring organization. You cannot watch this video without having an emotional response.

Valerie Smith (, managing partner for the Organizational Development Group, is an experienced instructional designer, organizational development consultant, and facilitator. She has designed, developed, and facilitated training in sexual harassment prevention and awareness, diversity-inclusion, management and leadership development, and facilitation skills. She is an adjunct instructor for Cornell University's School of Industrial and Labor Relations.

The Angry Eye Product Rating

Holds view interest ****

Acting/Presenting ****

Diversity ****

Production quality ****

Value of content ****

Instructional value ****

Value for the money ****

Overall rating ****

From Training Media Review, Copyright ©2004 TMR Publications. Reprinted by permission.

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