Film 30: The Edukators (2004, German)
With this being the final film, it took me a while to decide what to watch. The fact that I hadn't watched any German films so far influenced me to choose The Edukators
The film is about 3 anti-capitalists. Two young men (Jan and Peter) regularly break into the house of the rich. They do not steal or damage anything, instead they re-arrange the furniture and leave a message, stating 'your days of plenty are numbered'. The third character, Jule is the girlfriend of Peter.
When Peter goes away for a few days, he asks Jan to take care of Jule. They get talking and start to grow close. She owes a lot of money due to a car accident she caused while driving without insurance, where she damaged an expensive car. When he tells her about their acts as 'The Edukators', she ends up persuading him to go to the house of the man who she owes money to. Things don't go to plan however, and he comes back from holiday while they are inside. Unsure of what to do, they kidnap him and go to a cabin in the countryside.
I have mixed feelings on this one.
I liked the first half. A lot of films will feature a man and a woman, have them meet, and then suddenly they're in love, but we don't see the things that happen inbetween. IMO this is because most filmmakers do not have the talent to create such scenes. Anyway, this film does, we see two characters falling for each other, and we understand why.
The second half had some good moments. But I came to dislike all 4 of the main characters.
No doubt many filmmakers have political views, and this sometimes influences their work. But there is a big difference between showing a set of events that you feel passionate about, and producing something that has elements of propaganda. I'll use two films that I like to illustrate my point. The creators of Dead Man Walking are against the death penalty, and they made a film about a man awaiting execution. We see that this man has done something terrible. There is no cop-out where it turns out that he's wrongly accused. We see the families of his victims, how devastated they are, how it has ruined their lives. There is no attempts to ignore the parts of reality that don't suit an anti-death penalty cause.
Another is Do The Right Thing. No doubt Spike Lee has an opinion on how right or wrong the actions of certain characters were, but he doesn't force it upon us, he just presents a situation and we are free to judge for ourselves.
In The Edukators however I didn't feel that there was this level of neutrality in presentation. In one scene in particular, the anti-capitalists sit down with the successful businessman and they discuss the ethics of making and spending a lot of money, and they win the debate. This to me was just silly, akin to using an alt on here to argue with yourself and lose so as to make your argument seem stronger.
This film is not without merit but overall I wasn't too impressed.