The Wave (2008) Poster

The Wave (2008)

  • Rate: 7.5/10 total 25,650 votes 
  • Genre: Drama | Thriller
  • Release Date: 27 May 2011 (USA)
  • Runtime: 107 min
Our Score
660 user reviews.

User Score (vote now)
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars

You're here : » » The Wave (2008)...

Warning: simplexml_load_file( failed to open stream: HTTP request failed! HTTP/1.0 410 Gone in /home/easymovy/public_html/wp-content/themes/streamplex/functions.php on line 50

Warning: simplexml_load_file(): I/O warning : failed to load external entity "" in /home/easymovy/public_html/wp-content/themes/streamplex/functions.php on line 50

The Wave (2008)


The Wave 2008tt1063669.jpg poster

  • IMDb page: The Wave (2008)
  • Rate: 7.5/10 total 25,650 votes 
  • Genre: Drama | Thriller
  • Release Date: 27 May 2011 (USA)
  • Runtime: 107 min
  • Filming Location: Berlin, Germany
  • Budget: €5,000,000(estimated)
  • Gross: $20,675,948(Germany)(4 May 2008)
  • Director: Dennis Gansel
  • Stars: Jürgen Vogel, Frederick Lau and Max Riemelt
  • Original Music By: Heiko Maile   
  • Soundtrack: Homezone
  • Sound Mix: Dolby Digital
  • Plot Keyword: High School Teacher | Experiment | Youth | Teenage Boy | Singing In A Car

Writing Credits By:

    (in alphabetical order)

  • Dennis Gansel  writer
  • Todd Strasser  novel
  • Peter Thorwarth  writer

Known Trivia

  • Based on the novel “The Wave” by Todd Strasser (under the pen name Morton Rhue), a fictionalized account of the “Third Wave” teaching experiment by Ron Jones that took place in a Cubberley High School history class in Palo Alto, California in April 1967.
  • Ron Jones, the initiator of the original experiment, attended the film’s world premiere at Sundance Film Festival.
  • Director Cameo: Dennis Gansel The guy Dennis (Jacob Matschenz) talks to at the bar, who is later seen making out with Marco’s mother.
  • The student are repeating a play, in which only “The Wave” students have roles after Karo is fired. This play is ‘Der Besuch der alten Dame’ of Friedrich Durenmatt. In this play, an old woman who was exiled from her village by her fellow inhabitants come back after years; since she has lost her billionaire husband and inherited his wealth, she has her revenge by leading all the villager to kill her former lover who didn’t help her. One of the themes is the group action and how people lose their personalities in a group. This mirrors the teacher’s experience, who lead people into acting and losing personalities.
  • Much like Napola, the film was partly inspired by Gansel’s grandfather who Gansel had a lot of fights with when young because the grandfather used to tell him he was supportive of the nazi government when they where in power. It was not until Gansel’s grandfather told him about his ambitions of becoming an artist, but because his family was poor he ended up joining the National Political Academy (NAPOLA). Gansel understood that the lure of fascism was all about seduction and psychology. This laid the basis for the film and its themes.

Goofs: Revealing mistakes: The word "Montag" (Monday) is not reflected properly on the lake's surface, esp. as opposed to "Dienstag" (Tuesday), which has its proper reflection on the school's floor.

Plot: A high school teacher's unusual experiment to demonstrate to his students what life is like under a dictatorship spins horribly out of control when he forms a social unit with a life of its own. Full summary »  »

Story: High school teacher, Rainer Wegner, may be popular with the students, but he's also unorthodox. He's forced to teach autocracy for the school's project week. He's less than enthusiastic at first, but the response of the students is surprising to say the least. He forces the students to become more invested in the prospect of self rule, and soon the class project has its own power and eerily starts to resemble Germany's past. Can Wegner and his class realize what's happening before the horrors start repeating themselves?Written by napierslogs  

FullCast & Crew

Produced By:

  • Christian Becker known as producer
  • Antonio Exacoustos known as co-producer
  • David Groenewold known as co-producer
  • Franz Kraus known as co-producer
  • Nina Maag known as supervising producer
  • Martin Moszkowicz known as co-producer
  • Peter Schiller known as line producer
  • Anita Schneider known as consulting producer

FullCast & Crew:

  • Jürgen Vogel known as Rainer Wenger
  • Frederick Lau known as Tim Stoltefuss
  • Max Riemelt known as Marco
  • Jennifer Ulrich known as Karo
  • Christiane Paul known as Anke Wenger
  • Jacob Matschenz known as Dennis
  • Cristina do Rego known as Lisa
  • Elyas M'Barek known as Sinan
  • Maximilian Vollmar known as Bomber
  • Max Mauff known as Kevin (as Maximilian Mauff)
  • Ferdinand Schmidt-Modrow known as Ferdi
  • Tim Oliver Schultz known as Jens
  • Amelie Kiefer known as Mona
  • Fabian Preger known as Kaschi
  • Odine Johne known as Maja
  • Tino Mewes known as Schädel
  • Karoline Teska known as Miri
  • Marco Bretscher-Coschignano known as Dominik
  • Lennard Bertzbach known as Bommel
  • Thommy Schwimmer known as Maxwell (as Tommy Schwimmer)
  • Joseph M'Barek known as Thorben
  • Jaime Ferkic known as Bobby (as Jaime Kristo Ferkic)
  • Darvin Schmidt known as Leon
  • Leander Hagen known as Zecke
  • Lucas Hardt known as Kulle
  • Maxwell Richter known as Faust
  • Sophie Kurzke known as Freundin Jens
  • Liv Lisa Fries known as Laura
  • Lena Lutz known as Leyla
  • Hendrik Holler known as Marktverkäufer
  • Ilo Gansel known as Marktverkäuferin
  • Natascha Paulick known as Verkäuferin
  • Maren Kroymann known as Dr. Kohlhage
  • Teresa Harder known as Mutter Karo
  • Thomas Sarbacher known as Vater Karo
  • Hubert Mulzer known as Dieter Wieland
  • Gerald Alexander Held known as Vater Tim (as Alexander Held)
  • Johanna Gastdorf known as Mutter Tim
  • Friederike Wagner known as Mutter Marco
  • Dennis Gansel known as Hängengebliebener
  • Ron Jones known as Coffee Bar Visitor (uncredited)



Supporting Department

Makeup Department:
  • Dörte Dogkowitz known as makeup artist (as Dörte Dobkowitz)
  • Franziska Dominick known as assistant makeup artist
  • Irina Tübbecke-Bechem known as makeup artist
  • Renate Wetzel-Wagner known as additional makeup artist
  • Mieke Willaert known as additional makeup artist

Art Department:

  • Philipp Hübner known as property master
  • Tilman Lasch known as set dresser




Production Companies:

  • Rat Pack Filmproduktion GmbH
  • Constantin Film Produktion (co-production)
  • B.A. Produktion (co-production)
  • Medienfonds GFP (co-production)

Other Companies:

  • ARRI Sound  sound re-recording
  • Delikatessen Requisiten Fundus  prop house
  • Deutsche Filmförderfonds (DFFF)  funding
  • Filmförderungsanstalt (FFA)  funding
  • Götterspeisen Filmcatering  catering
  • Mecon Media Concept  payroll service
  • Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg  funding
  • Moviebus Michael Meiser  bus
  • Neels Mobil  caravan
  • Patin-A  costumes
  • Uwe Bünker Casting  children's casting


  • Alliance Atlantis Motion Picture Distribution (2008) (Canada) (theatrical)
  • At Entertainment (2009) (Japan) (theatrical)
  • Atlantic Film (2008) (Sweden) (theatrical)
  • Aurum Films (2008) (Spain) (theatrical)
  • BIM Distribuzione (2009) (Italy) (theatrical)
  • Bac Films (2009) (France) (theatrical)
  • Constantin Film (2008) (Germany) (theatrical)
  • Filmware International (2008) (Taiwan) (theatrical)
  • IFC Films (2011) (USA) (theatrical) (subtitled)
  • Impacto Cine (2009) (Argentina) (theatrical)
  • Momentum Pictures (2008) (UK) (theatrical)
  • Moviemobz Rain (2009) (Brazil) (theatrical)
  • Paradiso Entertainment (2008) (Netherlands) (theatrical)
  • Premium Film (2008) (Russia) (theatrical)
  • SPI International (2008) (Czech Republic) (theatrical) (subtitled)
  • SPI International (2008) (Slovakia) (theatrical)
  • Atlantic Film (2010) (Finland) (DVD)
  • Highlight Film (2008) (Germany) (DVD)
  • Madman Entertainment (2008) (Australia) (all media)
  • Madman Entertainment (2008) (New Zealand) (all media)
  • Pan Vision Oy (2009) (Finland) (DVD)
  • Paradiso Home Entertainment (2009) (Netherlands) (DVD)
  • Paramount Home Entertainment (2008) (USA) (DVD)
  • Paramount Home Entertainment (200?) (USA) (DVD) (Blu-ray)
  • SP Films (2009) (Argentina) (DVD)
  • Seven Films (2008) (Greece) (all media)
  • Six Sales (2009) (Greece) (DVD)



Other Stuff

Visual Effects by:
  • Christopher Chaber known as lustre operator
  • Willy Delgado known as film scanning
  • Geoffrey Grafwallner known as digital supervisor
  • Ulrich Hochleitner known as digital transferer
  • Kathie Klippe known as film recorder: ARRILASER (as Kathi Klippe)
  • Nina Knott known as digital intermediate producer
  • Traudl Nicholson known as digital colorist
  • Marco Ringler known as digital compositor
  • Hari Schernthaner known as lustre operator
  • Abraham Schneider known as visual effects supervisor
  • Ania Senckpiehl known as digital transferer
  • Sascha Stiller known as film recorder: ARRILASER
  • Steven Stueart known as film scanning

Release Date:

  • USA 18 January 2008 (Sundance Film Festival)
  • Germany 13 March 2008
  • Austria 14 March 2008
  • Czech Republic 1 May 2008
  • Switzerland 1 May 2008 (German speaking region)
  • Turkey 9 May 2008
  • UK 26 June 2008 (Edinburgh Film Festival)
  • Argentina 11 September 2008 (German Film Festival)
  • Denmark 12 September 2008
  • UK 19 September 2008
  • Greece 25 September 2008 (Athens Film Festival)
  • Brazil 26 September 2008 (Rio de Janeiro International Film Festival)
  • Poland 26 September 2008
  • Hungary 2 October 2008
  • Belgium 15 October 2008 (Gent International Film Festival)
  • Brazil 17 October 2008 (São Paulo International Film Festival)
  • Belgium 22 October 2008
  • USA 24 October 2008 (Chicago International Film Festival)
  • Slovakia 30 October 2008
  • Japan 2 November 2008 (Deutsche Filmfestival in Tokyo)
  • Greece 13 November 2008
  • Italy 24 November 2008 (Turin Film Festival)
  • Netherlands 27 November 2008
  • Spain 28 November 2008
  • Taiwan 28 November 2008
  • Sweden 5 December 2008
  • Russia 11 December 2008 (limited)
  • Portugal 8 January 2009
  • Switzerland 28 January 2009 (French speaking region)
  • Germany 10 February 2009 (Berlin International Film Festival)
  • Italy 27 February 2009
  • France 4 March 2009
  • Finland 12 March 2009 (DVD premiere)
  • Argentina 14 March 2009 (Pantalla Pinamar Festival)
  • Portugal 24 March 2009 (DVD premiere)
  • Iceland 17 April 2009 (Green Light Film Festival)
  • Argentina 20 August 2009
  • Brazil 21 August 2009
  • Philippines 12 September 2009 (Cine Europa Film Festival)
  • Uruguay 2 October 2009
  • Japan 14 November 2009
  • USA 27 May 2011



Filmography links and data courtesy of The Internet Movie Database

The Wave (2008) Related Movie

Keyhole (2011) Movie Poster
Knights of Badassdom (2013) Movie Poster
Nobody (2009) Movie Poster
Waltz with Bashir (2008) Movie Poster
Labor Pains (2009) Movie Poster

Posted on March 30, 2012 by Harry in Movies | Tags: , , .


  1. sampotter25 from United States
    30 Mar 2012, 3:37 pm

    An amiable German social sciences teacher has to teach his childrenabout an autocratic government. The children at first seem bored, notwanting to hear any more about The Third Reich and Nazism. The teacheris surprised. "We're too knowledgeable to ever fall into something likethat again," say the students. The teacher then decides to show thechildren what it's like to live in an autocracy, and sets up a simpleexperiment in class. They elect a leader (him) and he begins to instillin them (merely as an example) the virtues and practices that accompanyan autocracy ("Strength through discipline", "Work as one"). Thestudents take to it, and become obsessed with it. Soon, what was asimple classroom experiment grows to a social entity all it's own, withthe teacher not sure if he can reverse the effects.

    The film was very well acted and written, and was seriously creepy. Itshowed how – easily a society could fall into fascism, if presented tothe society in the correct way. Watching the film, I understood why thestudents enjoyed the new system, but was also privy to the horrors thatcome with it. A shocking and powerful film. The way the differentchildren reacted and how such a seemingly innocent experimentprofoundly affected their lives was incredible and horrifying. Vogelgives a powerful performance as an idealistic teacher who isn't awareof the influence he has on others. Worth seeing.

  2. sesmallz from United States
    30 Mar 2012, 3:37 pm

    Die Welle (The Wave) is truly a brilliant tale that lures viewers intoits cleverly developed plot just as Herr Wenger lures his unsuspectingstudents into a sense of fascism. When Wenger, an affable schoolteacherwho seems to be rebellious towards traditional instruction, getsselected to teach a class on autocracy, he is upset. However, he soondevises a plan with which to teach the students a valuable lesson onthe sheer dangers of fascism and the ease with which one can be luredinto it.

    His class starts out simple and nonthreatening. The students chooseWenger as their leader and are instructed to wear a uniform and createa name for themselves (the students choose Die Welle "The Wave"). But,this club slowly turns into a sort of fascist regime. The unsuspectingstudents think they are participating in some sort of fun club, butthey are really being shown how easily impressionable people can beattracted by autocracy.

    The biting irony of this film is that at the beginning of the autocracyclass, Wenger touched on the subject of Hitler's reign, and thestudents almost instinctively spit out answers about how Germany wouldnever fall into that trap again knowing what they know now. But, thechildren soon eat their words when they become members of a much lessdisturbing, yet frighteningly similar clique.

    There is a glimmer of this fact when two students who aren't members of"The Wave" pick on a student who is. Two other members come to therescue of the victim. Though many may view this as a positive aspect ofthis sort of togetherness, the point is that fascism has developed andcan easily become corrupt.

    I highly recommend this to any potential viewer who either holds thesame views as the students at the beginning of the film or simply wantsto be entertained by the ironic theme of the film (so long as you don'tmind the subtitles).

  3. geoffgee from Sheffield, England.
    30 Mar 2012, 3:37 pm

    This is a wonderful film with a superb screenplay and direction andgreat acting from its mainly young cast. I felt myself being drawn intothe film in the same way as Mr Wenger's students were being drawn intohis 'experiment'. The drama unfolds relatively slowly at first, butwith gathering momentum and consequences. There is also a very movingportrayal of some of the tensions produced within some of the romanticpairings as well as the extreme anguish caused in one student by hisheightened susceptibility. I think the depth to which personalrelationships and social groupings are explored make this into muchmore of a fascinating drama than an exercise in the condemning offascism. Please don't be put off by the subtitles. I can't recommendthis film too highly.

  4. ( from United Kingdom
    30 Mar 2012, 3:37 pm

    Die Welle details how a project on autocracy gradually leads todisastrous results. Initially without enthusiasm to teach the topic,Rainer Wegner conducts an unorthodox experiment to demonstrate to hisstudents (equally lukewarm to start with) what life would be like underfascism. Neatly structured by days, the experiment begins with simpledisciplines and grows to become an exclusive cult named "the wave" withits own uniform and salute.

    Similar to his 2004 film "Before the Fall" which concerns the Nazi'sseduction of youth, Dennis Gansel probes the individual psychologiesthat bring about uncontrollable collective movement, and how personallife is transformed by it. It offers a balanced view on an organisationlike "The Wave" by enquiring whether it is a crystallisation of thestudents' class-free utopia (at the cost of losing individuality) or acommunity for those in need of belonging and empowerment.

    What is frightening is that many (though not all) of them voluntarilyfollow the conformity through reasoning. Ironically, the mob mentalityengulfing the students is what they condemn formerly; even the"anarchist" Rainer finds himself intoxicated with his increasinglyidolised status.

    An engaging and powerful film with a sense of humour, suspension(terror arises when the light goes off during Karo's anti-Wave posterdistribution), twist (Rainer's concluding speech), believablecharacterisation and excellent acting (Jürgen Vogel, Max Riemelt, andFrederick Lau). Inspired by a true event in California , thisintelligent film merits attention particularly because of itsnon-preaching and humanistic treatment of a heavy subject.

  5. Joe from United Kingdom
    30 Mar 2012, 3:37 pm

    How does anyone really portray autocracy and/or fascism? In most ways,it can be done in the usual one-dimensional concoction of corruption,evil deeds, extreme delusion and paranoia amongst the ruling elites ofthe regimes. The Wave ("Die Welle") though looks at the issue from adifferent angle, examining how it can arise and entrance those ittouches, and in the process makes the whole issue look fresh again.

    The basic story is that of a school teacher (an anarchist at heart) whohas to teach a class about "Autocracy". Failing to get their attention,he decides to create an experiment whereby they are to create their ownmini autocracy and rules amongst themselves (named "The Wave"). Withsuch a controversial subject, the whole thing gets out of hand with thepupils succumbing to the autocratic fascist methodology with graveconsequences.

    One important point that needs to be added is that its a German movie,and for historical reasons the topic is a delicate one, yet seems toadd to the whole feel. The film is quite realistically disturbing inmany ways, and shows how most of the pupils slowly fall for fascism inquite innocent ways. It will make you think and possibly reassess theimportant question, as asked in the film, if Autocracy can rear itshead again.

    The writing, the acting and direction are excellent. Jürgen Vogel asthe class teacher is both entertaining and thoughtful in his role, butthe cast in general is exceptional especially as in the main they aremostly teenagers.

    If you like thoughtful films, and wish to see something that isquestioning historical events in the present, then there is little tobetter this. Deserves to be watched. Its a film that will definitely bespoken about and re watched by many repeatedly for many years to come.

  6. lual from Jena, Germany
    30 Mar 2012, 3:37 pm

    Director Dennis Gansel seems to like movies about the power of groupsand how they affect the individual. All of his movies deal with thissubject. I had some problems with his previous outing "Napola" (wrote areview on IMDb), but in "Die Welle" he gets most things right.

    Let's start with the negatives, just to get them out of the way:

    -I found the marketing to be too aggressive. That's not the movie'sfault but one could almost picture the producers trying to find aproject which will get hundreds of German classes into the cinema.

    -The big gripe I have with this movie is that it chooses the wrong girlas the heroine. Each of the students is a symbol for a certain type ofstudents. Gansel avoids turning them into clichés, but they are symbolsnonetheless. Most of the kids go for the movement, there are mainly 2girls who don't. I don't have a problem with the first one, the smallerrole. She is the typical hippieesque do-gooder who is almost fascisticherself in the way she is trying to get her own point across and thuscreates an interesting and realistic persona. She values theindividual, but by listening to her you get the feeling that sheherself does not respect people who don't share her opinion.

    It's the other girl who is the problem. This is the type ofover-achieving person who engages in all kind of projects, plans aheadfor the future and does everything to succeed in life. She is mostlyegocentric but can hide it pretty well by engaging in group projects.Nevertheless, she is a typical "Generation Y"-kid who only acts whenshe can find personal gain in it. This girl is the spitting image ofthe ideal that German teachers and parents are trying to create at themoment and that in my own personal opinion is just wrong. The reasonwhy she quits the group initially is that a white shirt doesn't suither well. In fact, laughable as it is, this is the one realistic thingabout her. I am deeply convinced that this character would in realitynot be able to look through this scheme, but that instead she wouldhappily participate in the group and try to advance her own position bybringing in lots of more new ideas.

    In my opinion, the most realistic opposer would be an outsider whoremains an outsider just because he feels unwell in groups. But thisguy would be hard to identify with.

    -One minor point: The Turkish guy should not have been so well-adjustedto German culture. It would have been interesting to see how he wouldhave reacted to the group and how they would have taken him in. Themovie would be even more controversial if it had shown that this wouldbe a way in which integration could work, even though with horribleside-effects.

    But enough about the negative.

    The movie works well even with its flaws. It grabs you from thebeginning and does not let go. The movie adapts the novel towardsmodern Germany but sticks close enough the source material to realizethe main plot points. Even if you know what is going to happen themovie makes you follow the plot and think along.

    What I like most about it is that it does not preach or give easyanswers. It raises questions and forces you to think. Except for thevery last scenes the events are never too much over the top and everysingle event by itself could find some sympathy in the viewer. This wayyou yourself are tempted by "Die Welle" and you have to force yourselfto think why exactly it should be wrong to oppose it. In fact, in manyways I was reminded of school spirit in American high schools,especially while I was watching the sports scenes. There is no easy wayout of "Die Welle" and therefore it makes it interesting for allnationalities, not just Germans.

    The movie changes the ending of the novel a bit. (Here comes thespoiler).

    Instead of revealing Hitler as the groups true leader, the teacher onlygives a speech after which the events get out of control and a studentdies. This is some rather shaky territory, because in this scene themovie really threatens to go over the top. I can definitely understandviewers who dismiss this movie as junk at this moment, but I think thatit is actually a quite realistic scenario. Gansel wisely shot thisscene in a very realistic way: he makes it quick, surprising and uglyand this way he makes it feel organic stylistically. It invokes theterror of school shootings and reflects one of Todd Strasser's othernovels, "Give a boy a gun", and suddenly one understands the decisionsof the character Tim, the boy who finally found a meaning in his lifeeven though he still was not really accepted. He was now accepted aspart of the movement, but not as an individual. Unfortunately he doesnot recognize this and this leads to the tragic events.

    End of spoiler.

    Final Comment: What I found most strange about the movie was that noneof the characters knows "The Wave", since it has been taught to deathon German schools. But I guess the movie would not have workedotherwise. Even though I believe that most people know about the storyalready I advise everybody to watch this update. They will definitelyfind something new in it to keep them thinking.

  7. (Ingeving) from Netherlands
    30 Mar 2012, 3:37 pm

    This movie underlines that man is a social creature. We naturally formgroups, groups of friends, of people who like the same music etc.Especially when we are young, belonging to a group is important, itmakes our identity, who we are — as opposed to who everyone else is.And so the teacher in the movie uses what is naturally there, to teachhis pupils about autocracy. It shows what happens when you stress thatidentity, when you stress the sameness, and thus also the otherness ofthose not belonging to the group. Eventually it shows how easy it isfor one, for the group to slip, even without being aware of it.Autocracy isn't dead, it is alive and it is easy. This movie is a mustsee for everyone, but especially for the young.

  8. stensson from Stockholm, Sweden
    30 Mar 2012, 3:37 pm

    That's what the title "Die Welle" means. A teacher makes an experiment.He wants his class to understand what autocracy means. It starts withthem stopping calling him by first name. Then they have to rise whileaddressed. Then, there are uniforms and a special saluting. And then,it runs out of control.

    The most disturbing thing is that the teacher slowly loses control overhimself, until there is a disaster.

    OK, does it take a week to form young people to fascists? That's notthe point. How ever long it takes, the interesting answer here is thatit is possible at all. Do we run that risk too? Well, if you look intoyourself, you maybe won't find a fascist, but you'll probably findsomeone who wants to be a part of something. Whatever it is.

  9. crey014 from Auckland, New Zealand
    30 Mar 2012, 3:37 pm

    "Die Welle" is an above average classroom drama with a political voice.Helmed by director Dennis Gansel, film is unforgiving in depicting theyouth as a generation without anything to rebel about but loneliness,making them sensitive to any sort of illusion of belonging. Mostly ariveting affair, film lags in its second act as it jumps into Dawson'sCreek. Film goes ashore into a memorable finale. Straight forwardfilming will captivate audiences, along with a pleasing cast.

    Project week in a suburban high school entails them to study variousforms of government and restriction. Rainer Wenger (Jürgen Vogel), anunder-appreciated teacher finds a way in engaging his students. Hecleverly manipulates his class to slap them out of apathy anddisinterest with tiny minute changes which eventually builds up to aboil. Classroom scenes are stimulating as debates between the studentsare daring and engrossing – writing mention controversial topics thatare usually not spoken with lethargy. Film focuses on a group of smartpeople, highlighting further that what's bound to happen is even moretragic and rings a bell to what can happen out of celluloid..

    Inspired by a 1960's social experiment in California documenting howeasy it is to influence individuals, film looses track in its middlesection as it begins to refocus on the individual lives of thestudents. Most characters seem to be run in the mill with general highschool romance trouble, which would have been interesting but bringsnothing new to the table. Stories work better as a collective ratherthan individuals, which further add to the intended effect. Somepersonalities shine though: students who never had any sense ofbelonging are indeed looked at with much heartbreak here as this falsesense of security is embraced by them, motivating them to go a stepfurther in preserving the society.

    Finale is spellbinding as even if it diverts a lot from the actualexperiment, it still proves as a necessity to further establish apoint. Film parallels to the effect of Third Reich within its membersand climax reminds audiences of the Bruno Ganz header "Der Untergang",as it clearly parallels the extent of loyalties that may arise in suchoccasions. From the get go, death of a character is imminent and evenwith its shock value, it justifies itself as beyond a plot device.

    As an ensemble, the acting here is impermeable as they all deliversolid performances. Vogel especially convey solid work as the teacher.He brings gravity and his semi-bald haircut proves ominous. It's ashame that audiences lose connection to him midway though as hesuddenly becomes the background to the melodrama.

    German setting of the movie elevates the film's status. It creates thispalpable undercurrent, that even with a country that already identifiesitself as guilty; it still cannot escape the possibility of anarchy.Even if the picture becomes stern with its themes, it still isdigestible to the mainstream. Word of mouth can secure a life outsidethe tills.

  10. Stuart Barrett from United Kingdom
    30 Mar 2012, 3:37 pm

    This is a German film (subtitled) about a school project looking atautocracy (a la Nazi Germany). In order for the teacher to persuade hispupils that autocracy remains a real threat to democracy, he persuadesthem to take part in a class dictatorship. The key difference betweenthis and your average school classroom is that he convinces the pupilsnot just to obey but also to want his every command. Of course theproject turns bad and things get scary.

    What I liked about the film was that it did not treat the pupils as"just kids"; they had brains, opinions, and their own ethics too. It isnot a very black and white in it's opinion, you could draw somedistinct opinion from the film but I suggest that there are severaldifferent opinions that are equally as valid. It keeps you guessingwhat is going to happen & even deliberately misleads you.

Leave a Reply