(Original Title: Die Welle)
Let’s take a test. A test on everything that humanity doesn’t want to talk about. A test on fascism. Did you ever reflect on the circumstances that generate fascism? Are you aware of the fact that even you, yourself, might be a bit of a fascist and not know it? Such is the test put forward by The Wave. Teacher Ron Jones and his fellow writers (Johnny Dawkins, Ron Birnbach, Dennis Gansel, Peter Thornwarth) follow very specific steps in order to prove to students, in a highly unorthodox way, the fact that everyone has it in them to become a fascist!
Ron Jones attempts to answer the questions posed by his students regarding Nazism, regarding the German nation and the beliefs and conflicts that brought on two massive wars. He even tries to explain why German citizens claimed to have known nothing about the Holocaust after the war! This experiment is called the “The third wave” and you can read all about it in Todd Strasser’s best-selling book titled The Wave.
What would happen if someone chose to apply this experiment in a German school? The Wave answers exactly this. A 2008 German film directed by Dennis Gansel and starring Jürgen Vogel, Frederick Lau, Jennifer Ulrich and Max Riemelt, deals with a very interesting case study that offers an entirely new look on things, examines the reasons that led to huge disasters and analyses their consequences.
Jürgen Vogel is very good in his role of the anarchist and alternative rock teacher but, as far as I’m concerned, the big surprise comes from Frederick Lau, who takes on the role of a weak, detached boy, and manages to transform into something entirely different. A complete metamorphosis takes place, which very compellingly prepares the ground for a striking ending, very suited, very believable and necessary.
The Wave could well be a milestone in your life. But for this to happen, you need to let yourself go and allow your mind to think like one of the students. Become a part of the movie, become a part of the classroom, become one of the students. The result will terrify you, but also teach you.
The Wave at IMDb
The Wave at Wikipedia
The Wave at Rotten Tomatoes
The Wave (awards won and nominated for) at IMDb
The Wave official film website
The Wave at AllRovi
The official page for this experiment by the students
The Wave-Die Welle ‘Like history in first person’- Anthea Lipset at The Guardian