Wednesday, 22 May 2013

Film #4: The Edukators (15)

Released: 2004
Directed by: Hans Weingartner
Original title: Die fetten Jahre sind vorbei (literal translation: The fat years are gone)

Jan (Daniel Brühl) and Peter (Stipe Erceg) express their anti-capitalist sentiments in a rather unique way. They break into the homes of the rich, but don’t steal anything. Instead, they rearrange the furniture and leave behind one of two messages ­– “You have too much money” or "Your days of plenty are numbered” – hoping to spook them into reflecting on their lives. But when Jan lets his feelings for Peter’s girlfriend Jule (Julia Jentsch) get the better of him, things soon spiral out of control.

Struggling with her finances following a car accident, Jule convinces Jan to help her break into the house of Hardenberg (Burghart Klaussner), the millionaire who could afford to wipe out her debts completely if he stopped for a moment to think about the 'little people’. The smallest mistake brings together two worlds whose philosophies could not be more different.

This is quite a ‘talky’ film with plenty of political debate, as young, poor idealists confront the older, successful businessman who might have been just like them once upon a time. While this may be a bit of a cliché, I think it’s done well here. And as the characters' likeability fluctuates, the outcome may not necessarily be obvious. All four of the main actors bring a really natural feel to their roles, and the handheld shots are used sparingly.

At the moment, I’d say that this is one of my favourite German films. What do you think?


  1. So glad you decided to start this blog Sarah! Really interesting and this film sounds great.

  2. I love this film! I thought it was a great comment on how the "68er Generation" (like establishment politicians such as Schröder and Fischer at the time) had turned into the very thing they had been trying to combat. I thought the ending was good, too.

  3. I definitely think this is one of best films for showing people how good German cinema can be. I first saw it in a cinema in Erfurt and the teenage girls sat behind me spent most of the film discussing Daniel Brühl's facial hair!