This evening I saw a film that made want to change the world.
This is not the first time that a film has made me feel this way, yet this was the first that didn’t leave me with feeling of total impotence. And that is indeed some achievement.
The film is German and is called “Die fetten Jahre sind vorbei“, which rather unceremoniously has been turned the English title: The Edukators, though with the excellent catch phrase “Your days of plenty are numbered.”
The film is about three young Germans, the idealistic Jan, played by the amazing Daniel Brühl of Goodbye Lenin fame, the cool Peter and his heavily indebted girlfriend Jule. In different ways, they’re fed up with an authoritarian system which cares little for the welfare of its members, of being part of something that is so pervasive that is seems impossible to escape, and most of all of the of the hypocrisy of those so rich they cannot find enough things on which to spend their money.
Jan and Peter breaks into rich people’s houses at night, but steal nothing. Instead they rearrange the furniture and other valuables into telling positions and leave a little note: “Your years of plenty are numbered” or, as it may be: “You have too much money”.
This is what you get from seeing the trailer and I won’t reveal much more, but merely say that the film not only understands and shows the sentiment of many young people and the passion and hope that they live with, and even the sentiments of the many older ones against whom they wish to rebel. I was very impressed, and a little shaken.
See, writing all this essay stuff on montage, I naturally sat down and noticed stuff about how the film used montage to achieve its effects, such as the 180 degree rule or the Shot Reverse shot, yet after 30 minutes, I had forgotten all about it. And when the film ended, I realised that I had been tensing my entire body for the last 30 minutes of the film, so immersed I was in the happenings on the screen.
The true magic of the film is that it takes perfectly ordinary people and slowly drags them into unexpected situations but so convincingly that you can relate and understand their actions and reactions throughout.
I wanted to send an email to all my friends in Denmark with semi-leftist sympathies or at least potential for such (and of course, my Bling buddy Nicolaj) to urge them to see this film, to give them that feeling of power and potential that the film left me with. Yet, I am sadly disappointed to see that it isn’t even in Danish cinema distribution. Instead it could only manage a few screenings at the Copenhagen Night film festival this April.
What I’ll actually end up doing in order to change the world is as yet unknown, but I have written this severely heartfelt plea for people to go see this film – which I hope will open their eyes a bit.