The Edukators touches on the history of post 90’s Germany very much like the film “Goodbye Lenin”. After the fall of Great Berlin wall, youngsters from both sides of Germany mobilized to seek new lifestyles. Most of them squatted in empty buildings given when rents had skyrocketed. Given the historical background, the film depicts underlying films of human reality as it tells a story about the degradation of humanity as globalisation dominated. As capitalism rose, the value of humans suddenly aligned with the money that they produced. With regards to the system, the proletariat seemed more hopeless than ever. This is evident in the main character Jule who is burdened with almost a hundred thousand worth of insurance debt that cannot be paid with her job as a waitress. Similar to Good bye Lenin, the film showcases an intense desire for political reform but instead of creating a microcosm of the old regime, The Edukators focuses on the art of revolution. Displayed in the two pranksters, Jan and Peter who break into homes of the bourgeois, not stealing anything but merely rearranging their furniture to threaten these capitalists regarding their privileged lifestyle. This is a novel way to attempt in destabilizing the status quo. It is a way of manifesting their passion for change into a form of art.
Another perspective is taken into account when the kidnapped businessman Hardenberg’s life is given attention. In the cabin, we go deeper into his past and discover that he was actually once like them– a rebel in the 1960s. The audience then witnesses a concrete example of how rebels evolve into conformists as they degenerate politically and adapt to the norms of society. Hardenberg gives a speech in the middle of the film regarding growing up. To bring forth change back in your 20’s is heroic but once you grow older, revolting against the socio-political norms is stupid.
It might seem depressing given that this is the society that we live in today however this film is just stating basic truth. All of us at the start, want to make a difference. But when we grow older, we realize that we all want a great home to live in, enough money to feed and take the kids to school, and to have those monthly vacations we desire. Radicals ending up as mere reactionaries is a normal human reality that we seem to decipher as “evil”.
More than the capitalist conflict, the complex relationships of humans are delved into in the convoluted love triangle between Jule, Jan and Peter. There is the common conflict of temptation versus fidelity. It is truly hard to battle the overwhelming eagerness to be with someone who understands you even if that person is your boyfriend’s best friend. In this film, the plot takes a bold step in exhibiting the fundamental weakness of human beings, that of which is attraction. At the same time, we also see the noble strengths of man which is the ability to forgive despite betrayal.
With regards to the structure of the film, it is very organized but it is not strict with the way it is shot. The dialogue is very natural portraying a dramatic yet truthful reflection of the post-war German youth. The visuals are shot in broad daylight with the cameras following the actors, as to give freedom to them and to display some sort of lightness in film.
Enlightening, comical and at times frustrating, The Edukators mirror not only the way of life back in the 90’s but also, the never-ending, worsening human realities of the contemporary youth.