Movies

Daniel Bruhl, The Edukators
B+

The Edukators

Genre: Drama, Foreign Language; Starring: Daniel Bruhl, Julia Jentsch; Director: Hans Weingartner; Author: Katharina Held, Hans Weingartner; Runtime (in minutes): 126; MPAA Rating: R

When you see young lefties on the streets, lashing out at globalization and the WTO, it’s easy to feel that their passion and wrath are matched by their self-righteous naÏveté. The Edukators, a fluid and gripping drama from Germany (it has the design of a thriller and the mood of a spontaneous, whirling-camera character study), is the first film to anatomize the contradictions of the rage-against-the-machine generation. In Berlin, a trio of youthful activists, all attractive in a glamorously unbathed sort of way, break into posh villas and rearrange the furniture, Manson-family style, leaving notes that say things like ”Your days of plenty are numbered.” Director Hans Weingartner sees these scowling baby Marxists for what they are: middle-class wastrels who’ve inflated a valid critique of the system into a tantrum. When they kidnap a pleasantly stuffy businessman (Burghart Klaussner) who turns out to be a former ’60s radical, it’s too pat an irony, yet the duel of wits between the wised-up fat cat and his ardent revolutionary captors makes for a forceful inventory of our political climate: stormy and urgent, with gusts of hot air.

Originally posted July 27 2005 — 12:00 AM EDT

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