|The three young idealist stars of Hans Weingartner's The Edukators stand and observe us against a wall on this poster for the film|
Two anti-capitalist activist comrades break into rich people's homes and move around their belongings and leave messages. But as a girl enters between them, and they kidnap a businessman, their friendship and political idealism is put to the test.
The Edukators, written by Katharina Held (Free Rainer (2007)) and co-writer-director Hans Weingartner (The White Sound/Das Weiße Rauschen (2001)), is something as rare as a revolutionary, modern film.
Perhaps fitting for its subject, young socialist activists, it is shot with handheld digital cameras that denies the film aesthetically pleasing film qualities. The result, however, is that The Edukators is an ugly watch. - Except for the pleasantness of the three both beautiful and very well-playing leads, portrayed by Daniel Brühl (A Most Wanted Man (2014)), Julia Jentsch (The Murder Farm/Tannöd (2009)) and Stipe Erceg (Operation Libertad (2012)).
They make The Edukators, - which is the name they take as an activist group, - captivating. I didn't personally sympathize with their characters' actions, but they succeeded in making me sympathize with them as characters, which is another thing, and a very valuable one.
The Edukators is a thought-provoking and idealistic debate movie-political drama romance.
Watch a scene from the film here
Cost: 250k €, equaling approximately 309k $
Box office: Reportedly 8.1 mil. $
[The Edukators premiered 17 May (Cannes Film Festival) and runs 127 minutes. Weingartner has stated that the film reflects his own past as a political activist and experience in a love triangle. He has also claimed that he was offered a big US studio budget, but that he preferred to take a 250k € loan, using his parents' home as collateral, to make the film on a low budget. Shooting took place in Germany, including Berlin, Austria, Spain and France. The film opened #70 in 2 theaters to a 10k $ first weekend in North America, where it peaked at #57 and in 19 theaters and grossed 175k $ (2.2 % of the total gross). The film's biggest 3 markets where its native Germany with 4.5 mil. $ (55.6%) from almost 890k audiences, native Austria with 0.4 mil. $ (4.9%) and the UK with 269k $ (3.3 %). The listed markets at Box Office Mojo only comes to 5.7 mil. $, so several grosses are missing, if the 8.1 mil. $ world gross listed is accurate. The film was nominated for a European award, won2/3 German Film awards, among other honors. It has inspired activists in Germany - to steal food and give to the poor in 2006 - and the US - where a statue was stolen from Bernie Maddoff in 2009 and returned signed The Edukators. A US remake was in talks with Brad Anderson helming it, but it has never come to fruition. Weingartner returned with Free Rainer (2007). Brühl returned in Ladies in Lavender (2004)); Jentsch in Downfall/Der Untergang (2004) and Erceg in Don't Look for Me/Such Mich Nicht (2004). The Edukators is fresh at 69 % with a 6.5 critical average at Rotten Tomatoes.]
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