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The Edukators

August 25, 2010

The Edukators (2004)
Director: Hans Weingartner
Actors: Daniel Brühl, Julia Jentsch, Stipe Erceg

Synopsis: Three young ‘punk’ anarchists love playing pranks on anti-Capitalist targets. When they actually kidnap a businessman though, things get a lot more complicated….

Review: There is a really interesting idea at the heart of The Edukators – about the compromises we make against our ideals – but it’s too often lost amid the hyperbole of the film’s blundering aesthetic. This question of the death of idealism is fascinatingly explored in a sequence where the self-styled Edukators’ prisoner – Hardenburg – recounts how he too was a youthful liberal in the Sixties, before family responsibility and the lure of ‘civility’ dulled those impulses. This reflection on the real tragedy of the Capitalist system is too often undone by the rest of the film’s rather fatuous attempts to build narrative intrigue in a love-triangle among the three anarchists (Jeff Buckley’s rendition of Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” is well and truly flogged to this end). Even the film’s visual vernacular is distracting and shallow – all handheld cameras, 180 degree pans, and laughable semi-jump cuts. It would work ironically if used as commentary on the faux idealism of its youthful protagonists, but one rather gets the sense that Weingartner is unable to break free from the shackles of portraying rebellion as anything other than ‘cool’. (March 2006)

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