The Wave
Die Welle Director: Dennis Gansel

It started as an innocent game. Two schoolteachers, one of whom teaches democracy and the other autocracy, wants to persuade the other that his views are right, and to do so, the autocracy teacher Rainer Wenger engages his class in an experiment. But one thing leads to another and the situation quickly gets out of hand. An organization called the Wave is formed. As it takes on one totalitarian hallmark after another, its members morph into obedient soldiers who give everyone else two options - you're either with us or you're against us.

THE WAVE gives us a look at how totalitarianism is born, grows and gains adherents. In addition to the obvious parallels to Hitler's national socialism, the film shows very well how fascism can employ the contemporary language of symbols - graffiti and music - and wield them very successfully indeed. Told with a certain German precision, the story is slightly reminiscent of another German film from a few years ago, "Experiment". The idea is the same: in the right conditions under the right system, anyone can become a monster.

Tristan Priimägi

Festivals and awards: Sundance, Edinburgh, Melbourne, Montreal
Links: Homepage, Trailer

Programme: Official Competition Programme EurAsia

Country: Germany
Year: 2008
Length: 101
Language: German
Producer: Christian Becker, Nina Maag, Martin Moszkowicz, Peter Schiller
Screenplay: Dennis Gansel, Peter Thorwarth
Director: Dennis Gansel
Cinematography: Torsten Breuer
Music: Ueli Christen
Editor: Ueli Christen

Cast: Jürgen Vogel, Frederick Lau, Max Riemelt, Jennifer Ulrich, Christiane Paul

Producer: Rat Pack Filmproduktion

Dennis Gansel

Dennis Gansel (b. 1973, Hannover, Germany) studied at the Hochschule für Fernsehen und Film in Munich. He began to make a name for himself with a number of shorts and debuted in television with the political thriller "Das Phantom" (2000) which was extremely well received in the press. His next film "Girls on Top" (2001) became a big hit in Germany. He followed that with "Napola" (2004), which was also screened at PÖFF. THE WAVE is Gansel's fourth feature.

Mädchen, Mädchen (Girls On Top, 2001), The Dawn (2001), Napola (PÖFF 2004), Die Welle (The Wave, 2008)

Monday, 01. December 17:30
Coca-Cola Plaza 2 (Estonian and English subtitles)
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Wednesday, 03. December 18:00
Kosmos I (Estonian and English subtitles)
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Saturday, 06. December 19:30
Forum Cinemas Astri (English subtitles)
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