7.6/10
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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.

Director:

Dennis Gansel

Writers:

Ron Jones (short story and original protocols) (as William Ron Jones), Johnny Dawkins (screenplay "The Wave") | 3 more credits »
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Popularity
4,733 ( 507)

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9 wins & 8 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Jürgen Vogel ... Rainer Wenger
Frederick Lau ... Tim Stoltefuss
Max Riemelt ... Marco
Jennifer Ulrich ... Karo
Christiane Paul ... Anke Wenger
Jacob Matschenz Jacob Matschenz ... Dennis
Cristina do Rego ... Lisa
Elyas M'Barek ... Sinan
Maximilian Vollmar Maximilian Vollmar ... Bomber
Max Mauff ... Kevin (as Maximilian Mauff)
Ferdinand Schmidt-Modrow Ferdinand Schmidt-Modrow ... Ferdi
Tim Oliver Schultz ... Jens
Amelie Kiefer Amelie Kiefer ... Mona
Fabian Preger Fabian Preger ... Kaschi
Odine Johne ... Maja
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Storyline

High school teacher, Rainer Wenger, 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:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Constantin Film [Germany]

Country:

Germany

Language:

German

Release Date:

27 May 2011 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Wave See more »

Filming Locations:

Berlin, Germany See more »

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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 »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Dennis Gansel: [Suicide] 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

Rainer Wenger: Mr. Wieland!
Dieter Wieland: Mr. Wenger.
Rainer Wenger: About the project week...
Dieter Wieland: Yes, and?
Rainer Wenger: Can we switch? I got autocracy.
Dieter Wieland: Alea iacta est. The die has been cast.
Rainer Wenger: You know I wanted anarchy.
Dieter Wieland: A little bit to much. The project week is about teachin the students the benefits of democracy. The making of Molotov Cocktails is a subject for chemistry. Have a nice day.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening and closing credits appear as graffiti. See more »

Connections

Remake of The Wave (1981) See more »

Soundtracks

Jeff the slayer of worlds
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
A Clever, Ironic Account of Fascist Autocracy
25 February 2008 | by sesmallzSee all my reviews

Die Welle (The Wave) is truly a brilliant tale that lures viewers into its cleverly developed plot just as Herr Wenger lures his unsuspecting students into a sense of fascism. When Wenger, an affable schoolteacher who seems to be rebellious towards traditional instruction, gets selected to teach a class on autocracy, he is upset. However, he soon devises a plan with which to teach the students a valuable lesson on the sheer dangers of fascism and the ease with which one can be lured into it.

His class starts out simple and nonthreatening. The students choose Wenger as their leader and are instructed to wear a uniform and create a name for themselves (the students choose Die Welle "The Wave"). But, this club slowly turns into a sort of fascist regime. The unsuspecting students think they are participating in some sort of fun club, but they are really being shown how easily impressionable people can be attracted by autocracy.

The biting irony of this film is that at the beginning of the autocracy class, Wenger touched on the subject of Hitler's reign, and the students almost instinctively spit out answers about how Germany would never fall into that trap again knowing what they know now. But, the children soon eat their words when they become members of a much less disturbing, yet frighteningly similar clique.

There is a glimmer of this fact when two students who aren't members of "The Wave" pick on a student who is. Two other members come to the rescue of the victim. Though many may view this as a positive aspect of this sort of togetherness, the point is that fascism has developed and can easily become corrupt.

I highly recommend this to any potential viewer who either holds the same views as the students at the beginning of the film or simply wants to be entertained by the ironic theme of the film (so long as you don't mind the subtitles).


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