Updated: Feb 22, 2021
I really enjoyed this film – I think it was my favourite film that we’ve discussed so far. The film follows the story of three young, anti-Capitalist Berlin activists involved in a love triangle. The main characters, Jan, Jule and Peter, spend their nights breaking into the homes of rich people and rearranging their furniture – leaving notes that say things like “your days of plenty are over” and “you have too much money”, calling themselves ‘The Edukators’. The main plot of the film develops when Jan and Jule are caught by a wealthy man named Hardenberg – the same man who inflicted a €100,000 debt on Jule. The group are then forced to kidnap Hardenberg and we see their struggle to relate their actions to their ideals. As the film progresses, themes of morality, wealth, generational conflict, revolution and freedom are presented and discussed through the actions of the characters. In our seminar, we discussed these themes and our thoughts on the characters.
The main course that our discussion took was debating if ‘The Edukators’ were trying to make a point in the film. We decided that there were multiple points made by all the characters in the film. Jan, Jule and Peter – through their original protests against sweatshops that take place in the streets of Berlin – make a clear point against capitalism and its brutality and many discussions throughout the film discuss the negative effects of capitalism. The character Hardenberg presents an alternative outlook to that of ‘The Edukators’ as he is older and has more responsibilities. We discussed how having responsibilities changes your worldview and whether we thought that would happen to the main three. We decided that it wouldn’t as the film ends with the note “some people never change”. The group also discussed the generational conflict between Hardenberg and ‘The Edukators’ as, though they had similar origin stories – all being revolutionaries at some point in their lives – their age gap changed their outlooks on life.
The OxNet film group is a great experience for those looking to expose themselves to foreign films and cultures and further understand the nuances of different cultures. The range of films explored is very impressive and I have really enjoyed the discussions that we’ve had so far. The group has a friendly and curious atmosphere and the leaders always ask interesting questions that get you to think a little differently about your opinions.
Mia Heffernan, Holy Cross College