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Die fetten Jahre sind vorbei
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Reviews & Ratings for
The Edukators More at IMDbPro »Die fetten Jahre sind vorbei (original title)

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Successful blending of genres in entertaining and touching German movie

8/10
Author: bas rutten from Eindhoven, the Netherlands
13 February 2006

A girl and two guys want to change the world by breaking into large mansions, rearranging the furniture, and leaving messages to make people think about their capitalistic lifestyles and take away the sense of security that all their possessions have given them. Oh, and they do it for the adrenaline rush too, of course. Eventually, things (naturally) get out of hand, forcing them (and one of their "victims") to rethink their ideas about just about everything.

Thus goes the story of "The Edukators", a German movie that blends action movie, romantic drama, and political statement into a mostly successful package that manages to entertain and perhaps even make you think a bit.

"The Edukators" probably works best as a drama: the three main characters are undoubtedly sympathetic, and the young actors do a great job of portraying them in a believable way. The actual story is perhaps a bit predictable, but it's good enough to keep your interest.

As a political statement, it's perhaps a bit less successful, but it still manages to bring up a couple of good points. At the very least, it has its heart in the right place without ever becoming too zealous or preachy: the left-wing message is certainly there, but it's not forced upon you, and it's delivered in a fairly balanced way.

The drama and politics are served up in a very enjoyable way. In spite of some rather serious issues, the movie fortunately never becomes dull of heavy. There's just the right amount of humor in there, and the excellent sound track and natural camera work add to the excellent atmosphere. It's true that ten to fifteen minutes could probably have been edited out, but that's a very minor complaint.

In the end, "The Edukators" is a highly enjoyable mix of genres, which is definitely more than the sum of its parts. It's a touching, sympathetic and thought-provoking movie that it certainly worth a look.

**** out of *****

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

"You have too much money"

8/10
Author: anarcho-mystic from United States
5 December 2005

The Edukators is a German flick starring Daniel Brühl as Jan (you may have seen him in 'Goodbye Lenin'), Julia Jentsch as Jule, Stipe Erceg as Peter, and Burghart Klaußner as Hardenberg ...

I absolutely loved this film... It's beautifully shot in vivid digital video in diverse locations from urban Berlin to rural Germany... The actors performances are excellent in their portrayal of twenty something disaffected youth... Most importantly the writing is honest, believable, and never preachy despite the subject matter...

The story revolves around four characters, three of whom are anti-capitalist activists, and one who's a bourgeois executive... The two male leads, Jan and Peter are best friends who've grown bored with chanting slogans as a means of resistance and decide to take it up a notch by breaking into the estates of elite Germans, rearranging their furniture and belongings only to leave a note saying "You have to much money" or "Your days of plenty are numbered"... But when Jule gets involved in their campaign of psychological class warfare the trio finds themselves in over their head both legally and personally...

What follows is subtle and profound meditation on revolutionary struggle and interpersonal relationships... The films strength lie in its refusal to vilify "the enemy" in this case personified by the middle aged millionaire Hardenberg... This puts a human face on issues that, all too often, are seen as a matter of Us vs. Them and it demands that we employ a critical lens to examine our own values...

This is a must see for any radical but will definitely be enjoyed by anyone who appreciates cutting edge German cinema...

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

A very affecting flick

9/10
Author: tinkcoleman from United States
3 December 2005

The more I think about this movie the more I like it. It manages to touch on all of the problems facing humanity, in an entertaining contemporary setting, and does it in such a way that the viewer can pick up on whatever concerns him - and maybe expand on it. I have very much enjoyed and been enlightened by the comments of others. However, when I realized that there was another ending which involved a boat I wanted very much to see that also. Did they edit out this because it made the movie TOO complicated or because it cut down on the possible interpretations of the ending?

A movie that looks life square in the face and still holds out hope makes my life more meaningful and I am grateful to those who create such movies. The beauty of this tale is that it offers no simple answer - to the plot OR to life.

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

naughty but nicely done.

8/10
Author: come2whereimfrom from United Kingdom
28 April 2006

This film is one of those films that could pass you by if your not paying attention. It is a love story of sorts loosely based around the political views of three friends. The two boys break into rich people's houses and re-arrange the furniture and leave anti-capitalistic slogans on the walls like 'your days of plenty are numbered' or 'you have too much money'. They never steal anything, they just want the rich to watch their backs, shake them up a little. When one of the boys goes on holiday his best friend starts to accidentally get close to his girlfriend and a love triangle forms. The girl in question falls for her boyfriend's friend and as they say in the film 'you can't help who you fall in love with'. When the pair of new lovers go on a re-arranging mission together and things go wrong they have to up the stakes and get her boyfriend involved on his return. All the time the forbidden love grows wildly out of control as does their situation until eventually they are found out. Inevitably thing come to a head in both stories and the friend have very important decisions to make. Beautifully shot in a style that has a dogma feel about it and with good acting and a cracking soundtrack the educators is an enjoyable twist on a tradition theme.

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Great movie with a more subtle message buried underneath the politics.

8/10
Author: JosephLee411 from my local movie theatre
4 February 2006

The Joe Cool Review: Fetten Jahre sind vorbei, Die(The Edukators)(2004)

Starring: Daniel Brühl as Jan, Julia Jentsch as Jule, Stipe Erceg as Peter, and Burghart Klaußner as Hardenberg

Plot: Two liberals, Peter and Jan like to pull pranks on rich people by breaking into their homes, re-arranging their furniture and leaving cryptic notes. They call themselves "The Edukators". They pull in Jule and when doing the routine on someone who has wronged her in the past, they are caught and have to resort to kidnapping the guy in order to save themselves. During the course of events lots of twists and turns happen that could change everything for the three. How will they get out of the situation, and who is "edukating" whom?

Openers: Foreign films have become my interest lately, and I have seen one German film before this(Anatomie). I went into The Edukators with an open mind, however, because I wasn't sure what to expect. What I got was a decent little story into the minds of a tight-knit group that goes through trials and tribulations and tries to stay together.

The Good: It was also a story of conflicting opinions, and most of all this movie had an outright political message, but also a more subtle one about how humans behave in general. That's the one that most should pick up on. I completely loved all of the emotions and messages and various plot points this movie threw at me. It was truly a fascinating character study. For a movie like this to work, you need good acting. This movie has that in spades. I'm not going to knock any of the performances, because they were all spot-on. Special consideration, however goes to Burghart Klaußner for making a part that we weren't supposed to like, well, likable. I sympathized with him the most. The other main cast did their jobs well too. The writing and everything was top-notch, as well. You felt for the characters, and had an interest in what happened to them. Overall you want everything to run smoothly at the movies conclusion. Another plot point I liked was the eventual tension that develops at different points. As the relationship with Hardenberg develops, the inner group's relationship disintegrates. It's a very interesting dynamic, and serves all the more purpose for the end.

The Bad: And that's what sucks the most about this movie. Of all the various endings they could have went with, it turned out that the most predictable one was the one they chose. They did manage to throw a small twist in there, but it's still something that everyone will think will happen, but hope doesn't. And it does anyway. It just left a bad taste in my mouth how it could have went in one direction and ended up going down the beaten path. Another thing I didn't like was the pacing. At times I felt it could have been tightened up and some segments just have the "get on with it already" feel to them.

The Ugly: Nothing really worthy of being here. The camera work possibly as it was really shaky and just bad at times. I can forgive that though, good camera movement does not make or break a movie. It can be distracting but that's about it.

Closing Statement: The Edukators is a very well made and well thought out film. I enjoyed it very much and highly recommend it. Especially if you like smart films with a message.

Final Verdict: **** of *****

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Avoids Many Clichés

9/10
Author: kasserine from United States
9 August 2005

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This German language film, directed by Hans Weingartner, centers around two young men, Jan and Peter, who declare themselves revolutionaries and break into homes of the very wealthy, rearrange their furniture and tag their walls with such slogans as You Have Too Much Money.

Of the two, Jan seems the more sincere in the undertakings and even throws out a Rolex watch that Peter steals with the declaration that they are not burglars but "Educators"(hence the American title) with the goal of teaching the well heeled that they are not safe in their fortresses of affluence. Jule, Peter's girlfriend, becomes involved in the raids, as well as with Jan, while Peter takes a short vacation away from the group.

Upon, Peter's return, this is where The Edukators takes off. While Peter was away, Jule and Jan break into the house of a wealthy businessman, Hardenberg, that Jule owed a great deal of money to, and through a series of complications, wind up kidnapping the man when Peter returns. The three, with their captive, hide out in a remote mountain cabin while figuring out what course to take.

Through a series of exchanges, it is revealed that not only is Hardenberg not exactly what they expected, but was once considered himself revolutionary himself back in the 60s. Also, the tension involved in the Jules and Jim like love triangle heats up and the three focus as much on their respective relationships as they do on their captive. There are even some nice moments as Hardenbergs "escapes" only to admire they mountain top view and contemplate his own life as he admits to them that he admires their ideals just not their actions.

In a realistic matter of fact way, the three resolve their respective differences and almost as an afterthought, return Herr Hardenberg to his old life, as they, presumably, begin their new ones.

The film does take a small turn at the end that some viewers might feel betrays the overall sensibility of the film, but, generally, worked for me.

The faults I would find with The Edukators are fairly minor. There are moments when the group seem to talk the talk but aren't necessarily as passionate and single-minded as one would expect from characters carrying out the acts they are. The acting, all around, is solid and Burghart Klaussner, as their captive, compliments the three main actors in a wonderfully subtle way.

The film is as much about relationships and exploring ones place in the world as it is about any grand ideology and, mercifully, the debate between the capitalist kidnappee and revolutionary kidnappers comes across in a realistic manner and about what you'd expect from the characters you've gotten to know at that point in the film.

The Edukators does a masterful job of presenting a snap shot view of the lives of a few people as they try to understand where they fit in the world and the actions they can take to create a better one.

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3 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

wow!

9/10
Author: magnus lewin from luleå, sweden
16 April 2005

wow... i said it before and i'll say it again...the Germans makes dramas as no one else.. I'm not gonna be long-winded here, but for those who like German dramas this one for sure is a top 5, a well deserved spot among films like: Der krieger und die keiserin, das weisse rauschen, I'm juli, gegend die wand and so on... Although this is a movie about being young, having ideals and following them, u don't have to be alike to follow along... this movie will touch everyone, at least if u are one of those who can let that happen

Daniel Brühl....great in this one as well...

At times like this i praise my German studies :)

thank you!

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5 out of 9 people found the following review useful:

Some People Never Change

9/10
Author: Claudio Carvalho from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
4 December 2005

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

In Germany, Jan (Daniel Brühl) and Peter (Stipe Erceg) are best friends and revolutionary activists calling themselves "Edukators". They use to mess the interior of fancy mansions while the owners are traveling on vacation as a form of protesting against the system. Peter's girlfriend Jule (Julia Jentsch) is full of debts and needs to return her apartment to the landlord. Jan helps her to paint the place while Peter is traveling to Spain, and Jule discloses to him in confidence that she had an accident with her Golf in the highway, hitting the Mercedez Benz of a powerful executive called Hardenberg (Burghart Klaußner). After the trial, she needs to pay almost 100,000 Euros along eight years. Jule convinces Jan to "visit" the Hardenberg's mansion with her to revenge, but the executive unexpectedly returns, surprises them and they are forced to kidnap him. The trio needs to decide the destiny of Hardenberg.

"Die Fetten Jahre Sind Vorbei" is another excellent German movie. The screenplay superseded my best expectations, with excellent lines, approaching themes like idealism, the exploitation of the capitalism, loyalty, friendship, betrayal. The magnificent and solid flawless story has drama, romance, action and some funny moments, and I personally liked a lot the conclusion, showing that some people never change their behavior. The performance of the cast is awesome, with the outstanding Daniel Brühl and Burghart Klaußner (from "Good Bye Lenin!"), and the unknown (at least in Brazil) Stipe Erceg and the also gorgeous Julia Jentsch. My vote is nine.

Title (Brazil): "Edukators – Os Educadores" ("Edukators – The Educators")

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5 out of 9 people found the following review useful:

Viva la Revolucion!

8/10
Author: belzebuebchen (brogan@gmx.net) from Berlin
20 December 2004

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

DIE FETTEN JAHRE... is a rare solid and entertaining piece of Austrian (and German) movie-making. Co-writer / director Heinz Weingartner manages to tell a story of three committed friends and their fight against a capitalist society that reminded me a bit of Finchers FIGHT CLUB.

The involuntary victim of there actions is exposed as being not so different from his kidnappers, which leads to some hilarious moments in the film, and even they become endangered to "fail" in the same way.

The emotions and tensions between the characters is very convincing and comprehensive as are their motivations.

At one point when Peter asks Jan and Jule if they're having an affair, the actors manage do give the answer without speaking an barely moving their facial muscles - thats something only a few directors can achieve.

Finally Austrian movie-making exists beyond the walls of depressing suburban blocks of flats. Way to go, Hans!

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7 out of 13 people found the following review useful:

The Fat Years Are Past - The Educators

Author: jon-112 from Sao Paulo, Brazil
30 December 2004

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

The truth is Hardenberg, as a good capitalist, fooled and cheated Jan, Jule and Peter during all the movie. I even doubt Hardenberg has ever joined the 1968 students protests in Germany. He was just a loudmouth playing for time. Like many people, he never changed indeed. But in the end the left wing trio was even smarter. I'm not going to tell more here, go and watch the movie yourself. "The Fat Years Are Past" or "The Educators" is a great, great, great German movie. Daniel Brül is a great talent and his coworkers are also walking the right path. Highly recommended. Don't die before you go to the movies! If, like me, you enjoy Daniel Brül's work, watch him acting in "Goodbye Lenin". He is really a very good actor. There are movies and actors outside Hollywood!

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