It’s a pity that local theatres are not showing “Die Welle” anymore!
I wanted to watch it, just because it’s origin. As I study German, I thought it could be a good occasion to get in touch with Goethe’s language, although I knew the film would be dubbed into Spanish. If I just could pick up a few written words of German in a character’s T-Shirt or in any signposting, it would be great. I always thought learning a language was something I could do in a funny way by watching films.
So, there I went and I can assure you I didn’t throw money away with this movie. Money doesn’t grow on trees and I really get upset when I waste my money with a bad film. This one, though, is out of this world.
“Die Welle” means “The Wave” in German and the film is about a high school teacher who embarks on an educational experiment – here I am talking about experiments on education again… – to demonstrate what “autocracy” means. Aiming to show their pupils that a totalitarian regime could easily flare up again, even in a society which is sure to be “vaccinated” against it, he starts his own dictatorship in classroom.
Against all predictions, the kids get on well with the new order and submit to the superior power of the group, they call “Die Welle”, for which they design a logo and set up a web page, apart from choosing a uniform to wear on behalf of it.
No individual differences, no disagreement. Those who venture to dissent are excluded and ignored. Acts of violence begin to be well accepted, if they are committed in the name of their cause. They just obey fanatically the wave and, in some cases, can even give their lives for it.
The end is out of the blue. The experiment grows out of control and reaches its final in an unexpected and shocking way.
After watching the film I knew it was inspired by real events that took place at a high school in Palo Alto, California, in 1967.
There is a book about the film, by Todd Strasser, titled “The Wave: The classroom experiment that went too far” available on Amazon.com
Helga Maria Saboia Bezerra