The Edukators (15)

Written by Katharina Held and Hans Weingartner, Directed by Hans Weingartner
Screening at FACT from 29th April 2005

Reviewed by Adam Ford

What do you do if you’re a young wannabe revolutionary but there’s no revolution on the horizon? How do you survive in a world that you despise but are forced to live in? How do you keep the flame of rebellion alive in a cold and indifferent society? Well apparently you become an insular loser who engages in masturbatory sloganeering and acts of wanton furniture rearranging.

Jan (Daniel Brühl), Jule (Julia Jentsch) and Peter (Stipe Erceg) are three such people, and the ‘Edukators’ of the title. Quite who they are educating is not clear, but they seem to get an escapist thrill from slightly irritating the rich. On one of these adventures, they are disturbed by an entrepreneur called Hardenburg (Burghart Klaussner), and in the ensuing chaos decide to kidnap him. The action switches from the friends’ Berlin bedsits to the breathtaking Austrian Alps, as the youths grow up very quickly and find out some shocking truths about their captive.

This is a clever and intriguing satire, which is political without being preachy. The viewer is drawn into the gang by the gentle humour and the ‘undirected’ directing style, whilst Klaussner develops his character from a cartoonish caricature to one that dominates the screen. 127 minutes is pushing it, and a couple of the alpine scenes wouldn’t have been missed, but this is definitely one to set you thinking, and possibly dreaming too.

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