For two weeks, 20 male participants are hired to play prisoners and guards in a prison. The "prisoners" have to follow seemingly mild rules, and the "guards" are told to retain order without using physical violence.
In 1942, Friedrich Weimer's boxing skills get him an appointment to a National Political Academy (NaPolA) - high schools that produce Nazi elite. Over his father's objections, Friedrich ... See full summary »
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
Much like Napola, the film was partly inspired by Gansel's grandfather, with whom Gansel had a lot of fights when young because his grandfather used to tell him he was supportive of the Nazi government when they where in power. It was not until Gansel's grandfather told him of his ambition to become an artist - which family poverty could only avail him towards joining the National Political Academy (NAPOLA) instead - that Gansel understood the lure of fascism was all about seduction and psychology. This laid the basis for the film and its themes. See more »
The way the word "Autokratie" is written on the black board changes between shots. See more »
Rainer I don't think you have this under control anymore, not at all.
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Opening and closing credits appear as graffiti. See more »
A wonderful and moving film that had me gripped throughout. Absolutely brilliant.
This is a wonderful film with a superb screenplay and direction and great acting from its mainly young cast. I felt myself being drawn into the film in the same way as Mr Wenger's students were being drawn into his 'experiment'. The drama unfolds relatively slowly at first, but with gathering momentum and consequences. There is also a very moving portrayal of some of the tensions produced within some of the romantic pairings as well as the extreme anguish caused in one student by his heightened susceptibility. I think the depth to which personal relationships and social groupings are explored make this into much more of a fascinating drama than an exercise in the condemning of fascism. Please don't be put off by the subtitles. I can't recommend this film too highly.
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