This film had me all over the place. Hans Weingartner made a great gamble when he used three idealistic people as main characters to a film called “The Edukators.” These kinds of films, almost like documentaries usually end up being didactic and obtrusive because they tend to tell the audiences what to do and what not to do explicitly. This film, on the other hand, utilized absurdity to bring out the very points they wish to be discussed critically.
The three main characters we see, a group of friends going around and “punishing” people, are found engaging proactively on political activism. Viewed from the lens of funny, risky, and unabashed breaking of the law in the name of ideals, we see three youngsters living their best lives. That was until one of those bourgeoisie people whose house they were ransacking walked into them in the middle of the act. It’s as if they were deers caught in the headlight, getting a taste of their own medicine because they learn at that moment that they won’t always be right in their choices. At the moment, we see the camera move like it is one with the group in panic, which is interesting because it means the director knows how to make the camera act in sync with the scene.
I may have also found myself out of breath following the subtitles [because I cannot speak the language] but I was still hooked by the rollercoaster of emotions that is this film. Aside from the political activism angle, which led to them having to isolate themselves in a cabin in the middle of nowhere, there were other perspectives utilized that made the film more compelling. Perhaps the best example would be the palpable tension between the three because of the budding relationship and cheating that happened between the girlfriend and the other guy friend. Funny enough, the old man who was supposedly the hostage, became so relatable because he ended up being a spectator to the mess that is unfolding before his eyes. It became problem on problem on problem for the three kids, which forced them away from each other for a while. Beat by their friendship, the kidnappers ended up ‘getting back together’ as a gang in forgiveness of each other. Their attention then refocuses to the hostage they have taken away form his home to ‘teach a lesson.’
Fascinatingly enough, the old man cooperated well in most of the things he was asked to do. He had barely any attempts to escape, probably because he knew it would all be over soon anyway. Although happening in a homogenous world, with the usual continuous and chronological narrative, the film had surprisingly made a huge impact on me as a person. That last scene made me think of the level of trust we have in our own system and politics in our own context. It also made ma ask myself how come the youth in my own context are not as idealistic and not as proactive in manifesting those ideals. Anyway, the film ended on a high note with that paper making me hope that the man had kept his promise to the youth.
If I am to comment on this heck of an entertaining viewing experience, I only have this to say: Well done.