103 user 95 critic

The Wave (2008)

Die Welle (original title)
Not Rated | | Drama, Thriller | 27 May 2011 (USA)
A high school teacher's 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.



(short story and original protocols) (as William Ron Jones), (screenplay "The Wave") | 3 more credits »
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9 wins & 8 nominations. See more awards »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Anke Wenger
Jacob Matschenz ...
Maximilian Vollmar ...
Kevin (as Maximilian Mauff)
Ferdinand Schmidt-Modrow ...
Tim Oliver Schultz ...
Amelie Kiefer ...
Fabian Preger ...


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 | Plot Synopsis


Evil is something that you learn [Sweden] See more »


Drama | Thriller


Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



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Release Date:

27 May 2011 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Wave  »

Filming Locations:



Box Office


€5,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$3,151,023 (Germany), 16 March 2008, Limited Release
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?


Ron Jones, the initiator of the original experiment, attended the film's world premiere at Sundance Film Festival. See more »


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. See more »


Tim Stoltefuss: Run for your life, or I'll blow your brains out.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening and closing credits appear as graffiti. See more »


References Quatsch Comedy Club (1995) See more »


Spending My Time
Written by Oliver Siegfried Walter
Performed by Orange But Green
Produced by Uwe Sabirowsky
©Edition KicoMedia
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User Reviews

Fascinating movie about group dynamics
25 December 2008 | by See all my reviews

This movie underlines that man is a social creature. We naturally form groups, groups of friends, of people who like the same music etc. Especially when we are young, belonging to a group is important, it makes 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 teach his pupils about autocracy. It shows what happens when you stress that identity, when you stress the sameness, and thus also the otherness of those not belonging to the group. Eventually it shows how easy it is for 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 must see for everyone, but especially for the young.

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