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
4,698 ( 758)

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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:

Based on a true story. 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

The students are repeating a play, in which only "The Wave" students have roles after Karo is fired. In this play, 'Der Besuch der alten Dame' by Friedrich Durenmatt, an old woman who was exiled from her village by her fellow inhabitants comes back after many years. Having lost her billionaire husband and inherited his wealth, she has her revenge by leading all the villagers to kill her former lover who didn't help her. One of the themes is the group action and how people lose their personalities in a group. This mirrors the teacher's experience, who lead people into acting and losing personalities. See more »

Goofs

The word "Montag" (Monday) is not reflected properly on the lake's surface, esp. as opposed to "Dienstag" (Tuesday), which has its proper reflection on the school's floor. See more »

Quotes

Mona: It's not about guilt! Germany has a special responsibility.
Sinan: Well... I am a turk.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening and closing credits appear as graffiti. See more »

Connections

Featured in Wir sind die Nacht (2010) See more »

Soundtracks

Move It
Music by Heiko Maile
Performed by Ronda Ray
Produced by Heiko Maile
©Constantin Music Verlag / Rat Pack
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Fascism is Only A Few Missteps Away
19 January 2008 | by sampotter25See all my reviews

An amiable German social sciences teacher has to teach his children about an autocratic government. The children at first seem bored, not wanting to hear any more about The Third Reich and Nazism. The teacher is surprised. "We're too knowledgeable to ever fall into something like that again," say the students. The teacher then decides to show the children what it's like to live in an autocracy, and sets up a simple experiment in class. They elect a leader (him) and he begins to instill in them (merely as an example) the virtues and practices that accompany an autocracy ("Strength through discipline", "Work as one"). The students take to it, and become obsessed with it. Soon, what was a simple classroom experiment grows to a social entity all it's own, with the teacher not sure if he can reverse the effects.

The film was very well acted and written, and was seriously creepy. It showed how - easily a society could fall into fascism, if presented to the society in the correct way. Watching the film, I understood why the students enjoyed the new system, but was also privy to the horrors that come with it. A shocking and powerful film. The way the different children reacted and how such a seemingly innocent experiment profoundly affected their lives was incredible and horrifying. Vogel gives a powerful performance as an idealistic teacher who isn't aware of the influence he has on others. Worth seeing.


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