7.6/10
88,350
102 user 94 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.

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Writers:

(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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The Wave (TV Short 1981)
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An experiment in an American High School where students learn how easy it is to be seduced by the same social forces which led to the horrors of Nazi Germany. Based on a true story.

Director: Alexander Grasshoff
Stars: Bruce Davison, Lori Lethin, John Putch
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
Marco
...
...
Anke Wenger
Jacob Matschenz ...
Cristina do Rego ...
Lisa
...
Maximilian Vollmar ...
...
Kevin (as Maximilian Mauff)
Ferdinand Schmidt-Modrow ...
Ferdi
Tim Oliver Schultz ...
Amelie Kiefer ...
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:

Based on a true story. See more »

Genres:

Drama | Thriller

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Official Sites:

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

27 May 2011 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Wave  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

€5,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$3,151,023 (Germany) (16 March 2008)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

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Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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 »

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

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

Features Test Drive Unlimited (2006) See more »

Soundtracks

Short Life Of Margott
Music by Arne Schult, Dominic Lohrberg, Gordian Scholz and Micka Schürmann
Lyrics by Simon den Hartog
Performed by The Kilians
©Grand Hotel van Cleef Musikverlag
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Spot on!! It explains a lot about world history.
24 July 2008 | by (New Zealand) – See all my reviews

The Wave rides high (pun intended) on the new wave of film makers from Germany. The movie itself is shaped like a proverbial wave, starts gently and slowly gathers momentum and before you know it it turns into a powerhouse. The movie will amuse you, frighten you, disturb you and enthrall you completely.

The movie takes a lesson in human psychology and shows how it is possible for a person with oratory skills and confidence to start a movement that turns into a revolution with frightening possibilities. It explains a lot about world history and current affairs.

Theme apart, I don't usually like to discuss any movie's story but I suppose if you're here you would've read the other reviews and summaries and would know a fair bit already. Putting it mildly, the movie deals with a classroom experiment about autocracy which has interesting positive and negative consequences.

The direction is sharp and spot on. The director is able to delve deeply into the minds of the various characters and explain their behaviour and position in the society that is created. It is all done realistically. The acting by and large is very good; however a few of the actors displayed a scope for further improvement. However this does not take away much from the movie experience. There are certain similarities with another great German film, Das Experiment, but not many.

I am certainly going to suggest this film to people I know including people who live on a staple of Hollywood blockbusters and like to keep away from festival films. So if you get the opportunity to watch it, please do.


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