In the Black Mirror movie Bandersnatch, Stefan finds a lot of files about himself at one point. Here are what the files say and more details about them. This post has major Bandersnatch spoilers. If you haven’t seen the arc of the movie that shows Stefan finding files about himself, then don’t read on until you’ve watched that part.
Spoilers begin now.
When Stefan enters the right code into his father’s filing cabinet after choosing the book over the photo (the code is PAC), then the filing cabinet opens and reveals many, many files about Stefan that his father has been keeping since Stefan was a little boy. It’s all very overwhelming and terrifying for Stefan.
Interestingly, the files for Stefan Butler all have the White Bear type symbol on them. This may indicate some connection between the company that runs White Bear Justice Park in the future and the company running the PACS program that Stefan finds in this scene.
Stefan appears to have found confidential patient files about himself.
Stefan discovers that he’s part of an actual PACS program (Program and Control Study). He sees tons of files on him that his dad has, and finds out that his dad and mom may have just been actors and he was being monitored and filmed his entire life — just like Colin said. From the time he was a boy to even his adult counseling sessions, everything was filmed.
One file (in the photo above) reads that Stefan was given antipsychotics and seems to have resistant mania. The parts I could catch read: “The subject who has not responded to two different … antipsychotic drugs, the chances of a response with a … clazapine drug are very low, less than one in twenty…with olzapine, it is one in two. This is a number… an astonishingly low number for any field of…”
You can also see numerous photos taken of Stefan, showing he was always being surveilled.
He’s being watched now, in July 1984.
Even when he thinks he’s alone and programming, he’s being watched and recorded.
The files showed photos taken of him from all ages, from when he was a young kid to today.
They even had photos of him when he was a toddler.
And his file even has photos from when he was a baby in 1967.
Also in Stefan’s file, we see a vial that reads “S. Butler” and says “100th Dose.” It’s unclear what drug the vial contains.
We also see Stefan’s bloodwork, which is pictured below.
Even his sessions with his counselor were recorded.
There’s a strange file called Trauma Inception.
The file reads in part, “The EWNT is an adapted item recognition task, which has repeatedly shown interference by emotional information on working memory performance in both healthy and clinical samples. The overall goal of this task is for the subject to memorize a list of letters and then to check in a new list of letters whether h recognize one of the previously shown letters. The time interval between the two lists is used to present distracting information, in this case pictures of different valences. The current paradigm consisted of 72 trials, each starting with a black fixation block for 750 ms, followed the by the presentation of three black letters below each other. After a delay interval (1500 ms) three letters wer eagain displayed… In half of the trials, one of the three memoranda (target) was present in the probe. The subject had to … a yes or no button indicating whether h had recognized target or not… During the delay interval, neutral, positively, or negatively using pictures from the Picture System were presented as … actors. The positive and negative pictures mainly included scenes and human body parts, while the neutral pictures… natural scenes and objects. The 24 positive, negative, and neutral pictures were randomly displayed. The inter-trail…was 500 ms. The subject was instructed to focus on the pictures during the delay. Effects of the distraction… both speed and percentage errors were analyzed to…”
The page’s section at the bottom is labeled Childhood Trauma. “Trauma short form is a 28-item retrospective… questionnaire developed to measure five types of childhood… emotional, physical and sexual abuse and … physical neglect. each scale of the CT Form… that are scored on the five-point Likert scale… of 25. The scales showed good reliability…”
Here’s a closeup of the beginning of the file:
After this, Stefan appears to learn that his childhood trauma with his mom’s death was faked and it all happened in a bedroom that was being filmed and was part of a set. But is this accurate or a delusion? The “Trauma Inception” smoking gun appears to be more about just showing emotionally charged photos, but we don’t get to read the entire paper. I’m leaning toward it being accurate and a real experiment that Stefan learned about himself.
What do you think?