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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 69,555 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) (as William Ron Jones) , (screenplay), 3 more credits »
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Title: The Wave (2008)

The Wave (2008) on IMDb 7.6/10

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The Wave (TV Short 1981)
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An experiment in an American High School where students learn how easy it is to be seduced by the same social forces which led to the horrors of Nazi Germany. Based on a true story.

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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:

IT WILL THRILL YOU. IT WILL CARRY YOU AWAY. IT WILL CHANGE YOU. IT WILL BREAK YOU 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

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. See more »

Goofs

(at around 15 mins) The teacher is formally called Rainer Wenger, although informally he uses his first name is Rainer, among his students initially and later his surname during the project, Wenger. One might think the principal would use his first name when talking to him, but in Germany when adult colleagues speak to each other, they use their last name when talking to each other, i.e. Herr Wenger. 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

Garden Of Growing Hearts
Music by Empty Trash
Lyrics by Max Buskohl
Performed by Empty Trash
©Empty Trash
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Fascism is still possible and alive
29 September 2008 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

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

Similar to his 2004 film "Before the Fall" which concerns the Nazi's seduction of youth, Dennis Gansel probes the individual psychologies that bring about uncontrollable collective movement, and how personal life is transformed by it. It offers a balanced view on an organisation like "The Wave" by enquiring whether it is a crystallisation of the students' class-free utopia (at the cost of losing individuality) or a community for those in need of belonging and empowerment.

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

An engaging and powerful film with a sense of humour, suspension (terror arises when the light goes off during Karo's anti-Wave poster distribution), twist (Rainer's concluding speech), believable characterisation and excellent acting (Jürgen Vogel, Max Riemelt, and Frederick Lau). Inspired by a true event in California , this intelligent film merits attention particularly because of its non-preaching and humanistic treatment of a heavy subject.


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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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