Written and directed by Dennis Gansel
Based on a novel by Todd Strasser
Screening at from 3rd October
Based on the real events at a Californian high school in the late 1960s,
The Wave is a German remake of the 1981 US TV movie and novelisation of
the same name, in which a school teacher creates an experiment with his
pupils to demonstrate how easily a civilised society can succumb to fascist
With the action now transplanted to contemporary Germany, the students’
dismissal of Nazi history and the firm belief that a country such as Germany
could never again make the same mistake, this film holds greater resonance
for modern western attitudes of apathy in our current climate.
The Wave certainly lacks the power or inventiveness of Peter Watkins'
look at society’s propensity for fascism in Punishment Park (1971),
but is clearly aimed at a younger audience. Had this film been made in
Britain it may have been subject to scenes of sex and drug taking to take
advantage of the current Skins generation, but this would miss its demographic
and instead remains focused on more widespread teenage concerns of acceptance
However, the film would have benefitted from a more revealing look at
Herr Wenger’s character as he seems more ignorant to his pupils’
extra-curricular activities than caught up in the wave himself as is suggested.
B+ for effort, must try harder.