“At twenty, if you are not an idealist, then you don’t have a heart. And if you continue being an idealist at forty, then you don’t have a brain.”Hardenberg (The Edukators)
Idealism vs Reality. This is perhaps how I would describe The Edukators. It was an interesting film, which made me question myself and the things I stand for, and whether I am also part of the problem the system of Capitalism has created. Although, it does not mean I will suddenly change my beliefs, it made me see how there is a problem with society and that we must help in our own way to improve it.
The film centers around three young activists: Peter, Jule (the girlfriend of Peter), and Jan (the best friend of Peter). Peter and Jan have been entering empty homes of rich families and rearranging their furniture while calling themselves as the edukators to send a message that not even the rich are safe in their own homes. Although the duo, break in and enter different homes they make sure to keep to their code in which they must never steal from their victims and never hurt someone. Although it seemed idealistic to believe they can change people by rearranging their furniture, it was still quite inspiring to see two optimistic teenagers trying to change society. Even though they have entered multiple homes already, the duo were never caught.
When Peter suddenly needs to leave for Barcelona, he entrusts Jan to take care of his girlfriend. In the time Peter was away, Jan and Jule began to become close which led to Jan telling Jule about his and Peter’s escapades as the edukaotrs. Learning this, Jule convinces Jan to sneak into the house of a wealthy CEO, Hardenberg, with whom she has problems with and to do his educator work. Jule accompanies Jan to Hardenberg’s house, however, since this was her first time to break inside a home, she made a mistake and forgets her cellphone after tripping an alarm. Realizing that Jule left her cellphone, Jule and Jan come back to the house the next day but then get seen by Hardenberg. They kidnap Hardenberg to avoid going to prison. They then inform Peter of what has happened, and the trio bring Hardenberg to a farm where they plan to decide on what to do with him. Although kept as a prisoner, the trio and Hardenberg begin to know each other, which leads to various discussions and reflections between the characters about society and life in general.
The talks between the teens and Hardenberg delve into topics such as whether the actions of the trio are actually a good form of activism, how a man can get caught up in the system despite being against it at the start, and how the life of an activist eventually turns out. You begin to see whether it is still practical to remain true to your beliefs when they cant put food on the table or pay rent, or is it better get absorbed in the system even if you may seem heartless. The long monologue and debates amongst the trio and Hardenberg allow the audience to reflect on these problems, problems which are still relevant in todays settings. The are made more relatable due to how they are fleshed out, made the characters even easier sympathize with and try to view society from their perspective. Although, I cannot credit the characters alone for affecting the hearts of the audience, the musical score chosen as and the setting of the movie helped make the characters and the story of the movie more appealing to make it easier to further sympathize with them.
Overall, The Edukators was a fun film which I would recommend to my friends and families even If they aren’t interested in European film. It was a film which was easy to follow but delved on deep topics which sparks conversation amongst the audience.