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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 62,797 users  
Reviews: 87 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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Title: The Wave (2008)

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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
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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:

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

Genres:

Drama | Thriller

Certificate:

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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
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Dennis Gansel has stated that he will never make another film about national socialism again after The Wave as he feels he has said all he has to say about the subject. 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

Dennis: What our generation lacks is a common goal that hold us together.
Hängengebliebener: That's what it is like today. Look around you. You know what the most goggled thing is? Paris fucking Hilton!
Dennis: [laughing] Oh, shit
Hängengebliebener: It is true!
See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening and closing credits appear as graffiti. See more »

Connections

References Quatsch Comedy Club (1995) See more »

Soundtracks

Right Now
Music by Heiko Maile
Lyrics by Heiko Maile and Trevor Jackson
Performed by Ronda Ray featuring Trevor Jackson
Produced by Heiko Maile
©Constantin Music Verlag / Rat Pack
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Entertaining fictional experiment in classroom dictatorship
9 November 2008 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

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 of the regimes. The Wave ("Die Welle") though looks at the issue from a different angle, examining how it can arise and entrance those it touches, and in the process makes the whole issue look fresh again.

The basic story is that of a school teacher (an anarchist at heart) who has to teach a class about "Autocracy". Failing to get their attention, he decides to create an experiment whereby they are to create their own mini autocracy and rules amongst themselves (named "The Wave"). With such a controversial subject, the whole thing gets out of hand with the pupils succumbing to the autocratic fascist methodology with grave consequences.

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 to add to the whole feel. The film is quite realistically disturbing in many ways, and shows how most of the pupils slowly fall for fascism in quite innocent ways. It will make you think and possibly reassess the important question, as asked in the film, if Autocracy can rear its head again.

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

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


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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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