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The Wave (2008)
"Die Welle" (original title)

 -  Drama | Thriller  -  27 May 2011 (USA)
7.6
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Ratings: 7.6/10 from 64,672 users  
Reviews: 92 user | 90 critic

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.

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(short story and original protocols), (screenplay), 3 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Rainer Wenger
...
Tim Stoltefuss
...
Marco
...
Karo
Christiane Paul ...
Anke Wenger
Jacob Matschenz ...
Dennis
Cristina do Rego ...
Lisa
...
Sinan
Maximilian Vollmar ...
Bomber
Max Mauff ...
Kevin (as Maximilian Mauff)
Ferdinand Schmidt-Modrow ...
Ferdi
Tim Oliver Schultz ...
Jens
Amelie Kiefer ...
Mona
Fabian Preger ...
Kaschi
Odine Johne ...
Maja
Edit

Storyline

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

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Based on a true story. See more »

Genres:

Drama | Thriller

Certificate:

See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

27 May 2011 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Wave  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

€5,000,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Rainer Wenger was named after a beloved teacher named Rainer who worked in Dennis Gansel's school and whom the students (against German custom) refereed to by first name. See more »

Goofs

The action is clearly set in the 21st century, but the license plates of most or all cars begin with 'BE' (district 'Beckum', North Rhine-Westphalia). These licenses expired on January 1st, 1975. (This surely is intended to set the action 'somewhere in Germany') See more »

Quotes

Rainer Wenger: You should just see how motivated they are.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening and closing credits appear as graffiti. See more »

Connections

Remake of The Wave (1981) See more »

Soundtracks

Homezone
Written by Jens Moelle and Ismail Tüfekçi
Performed by Digitalism
©Edition Metrobass
Courtesy of Universal Music Publishing GmbH
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Fascism is Only A Few Missteps Away
19 January 2008 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

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

The film was very well acted and written, and was seriously creepy. It showed how - easily a society could fall into fascism, if presented to the society in the correct way. Watching the film, I understood why the students enjoyed the new system, but was also privy to the horrors that come with it. A shocking and powerful film. The way the different children reacted and how such a seemingly innocent experiment profoundly affected their lives was incredible and horrifying. Vogel gives a powerful performance as an idealistic teacher who isn't aware of the influence he has on others. Worth seeing.


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Why was 'the wave' so bad? donquigleone
Closeup of Mr. Wenger's face at the movie's finale Friedrich von Glower
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