Published Oct 01, 2005The Edukators is the perfect movie to inspire rebellious North American adolescents. It's too bad that leftwing, subtitled German flicks are nowhere near the radar screens of the Good Charlotte crowd. With three beautiful young stars and accessible extreme-left politics, Edukators will inform and hold the interest of youth looking to jump on the anti-capitalist bandwagon. Unfortunately, it will be older, better educated people who see this one, and whose reactions will depend on their political values and how much "freshman poli-sci" they can stomach.
Peter (Stipe Erceg) and Jan (Daniel Brühl), "the Edukators," break into bourgeoisie estates and rearrange the furniture. They leave messages like, "You Have Too Much Money," and have a genuine sense of conviction. Jan involves Peter's girlfriend, Jule (Julia Jentsch), in the dangerous game because she owes the filthy-rich Hardenburg 95,000 Euros after destroying his Mercedes. Drunk and falling in love, Jan and Jule break into his home and share their first kiss. When they are caught they involve Peter and kidnap Hardenburg (Burghart Klausser).
Held hostage in a remote mountainside cabin, Hardenburg is confronted about his greed and apathy. He uses all the standard defences of the modern upper-class until gradually warming to his idealistic captors and sharing stories of his own rebellious past between puffs of marijuana. He has much in common with the three and wonders how he became what he once hated.
A poignant climax, accentuated nicely by Jeff Buckley's cover of "Hallelujah," is reached when Peter learns of Jule and Jan's affair. Appealing digital photography, great acting and the skilled direction of Hans Weingartner keep the melodrama at bay. Brühl gives another remarkable performance, which is to take nothing away from Jentsch and Erceg who are equally compelling. (Alliance Atlantis)