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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.

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(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

Cast overview, first billed only:
... Rainer Wenger
... Tim Stoltefuss
... Marco
... Karo
... Anke Wenger
Jacob Matschenz ... Dennis
... Lisa
... Sinan
Maximilian Vollmar ... Bomber
... Kevin (as Maximilian Mauff)
Ferdinand Schmidt-Modrow ... Ferdi
... Jens
Amelie Kiefer ... Mona
Fabian Preger ... Kaschi
... 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 | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

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

Genres:

Drama | Thriller

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Official Sites:

Constantin Film [Germany]

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

27 May 2011 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Wave  »

Filming Locations:

 »

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Box Office

Budget:

€5,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

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

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Technical Specs

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Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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

Karo: Rainer I don't think you have this under control anymore, not at all.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening and closing credits appear as graffiti. See more »

Connections

Remake of The Wave (1981) See more »

Soundtracks

Nightlite
Written by Simon Green and Bajka Pluwatsch
Performed by Bonobo
©Just Isn't Music
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Entertaining fictional experiment in classroom dictatorship
9 November 2008 | by 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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