Thursday, March 09, 2006

The Edukators

Y3 Films
Director: Hans Weingartner
Length: 127 min.
Country: Germany
Format: DVD
Date Viewed: 26 February

The Edukators is a poor film already growing a sizable cult following amongst angry leftist youths who are unable to see past the laughable sloganeering and "edgy" technique that director foolishly believes adds urgency to his tribute to young revolutionaries (Weingartner himself having been just such a kid).

The acting is rather good, but is the only thing the film has going for it.

Lucky for the director, most young lefties are adamantly against criticism of the left of any kind, so The Edukators' fan-base refuses to see just how superficial the entire enterprise is. Even to this young (but highly critical) lefty reviewer, the opening succeeded in stirring up class-conscious anger. Once you begin to think about what the characters are doing and especially what they are saying, though, you will soon realize that the dialogue is essentially the stuff of bumper stickers, and yet we are expected to take it as serious political discourse; it is here that the movie falls apart, to say nothing of the dumbed-down MTV-style editing and typically soft DV cinematography. None of it can be taken very seriously, and none of it is especially thought-provoking - it's all just preaching to the choir, but using only sound-bites to do so.

The movies' climax sees the three titular kids opening their eyes a bit, but the conclusion reveals their eyes as firmly shut once more and continuing on with their ridiculous pranks, driven solely by their anger towards their own lower-class situation (notice two of three don't have jobs), like most revolutionaries. No lesson is learned, and the film ends asking us to support the Edukators' acts because of a "surprise" and cynical (but incredibly common-sense) turn by their kidnapping victim, which apparently shows us that anyone with money is someone who can never be trusted.

Not only is it incredibly naive, the movie is also a good thirty minutes too long (or by my count, 127 minutes too long), and has Jeff Buckley's song "Hallelujah" playing for some 15-20 minutes out of the final thirty, just to kick you in the kidneys after making you suffer from the film's stupidity for the first seventy-five percent of the runtime. Avoid this movie like the plague.


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