7.6/10
93,542
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
4,609 ( 371)

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9 wins & 8 nominations. See more awards »

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Director: Dennis Gansel
Stars: Max Riemelt, Tom Schilling, Devid Striesow
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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:

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

Director Cameo: [Dennis Gansel] The guy Dennis (Jacob Matschenz) talks to at the bar, who is later seen making out with Marco's mother. 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: So you don't think there could be another dictatorship in Germany?
Jens: No, we are too enlightened now.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening and closing credits appear as graffiti. See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Wedding Coprophage (2018) 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

 
The Wave
3 January 2009 | by stenssonSee all my reviews

That's what the title "Die Welle" means. A teacher makes an experiment. He wants his class to understand what autocracy means. It starts with them stopping calling him by first name. Then they have to rise while addressed. Then, there are uniforms and a special saluting. And then, it runs out of control.

The most disturbing thing is that the teacher slowly loses control over himself, until there is a disaster.

OK, does it take a week to form young people to fascists? That's not the point. How ever long it takes, the interesting answer here is that it is possible at all. Do we run that risk too? Well, if you look into yourself, you maybe won't find a fascist, but you'll probably find someone who wants to be a part of something. Whatever it is.


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