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  • Writer's pictureJames Rutherford

‘The Edukators’: An Eye-Opening and Arresting Tale of Anti-Capitalist Activism from Germany

Movie poster for the German film The Edukators starring Daniel Brühl, Stipe Erceg and Julia Jentsch

“The Edukators” (”Die Fetten Jahre Sind Vorbei”) is an arresting German drama from 2004 that revolves around the anti-capitalist endeavors of three young urban activists: Jan (Daniel Brühl), Peter (Stipe Erceg) and Jule (Julia Jentsch). Jan and Peter engage in nighttime break-ins that involve the rearrangement of furniture and the proffering of handwritten notes informing wealthy residents that their "days of plenty are over" and "you have too much money" in relatively benign acts of intimidation.

Unaware of her boyfriend Peter’s actions in collaboration with their friend Jan, Jule agonizes over enormous debt owed to a wealthy businessman named Hardenberg (Burghart Klaußner) after a dramatic motor vehicle collision. While Peter is away on holiday, Jan confesses their criminal activities to Jule and the two hatch an illicit plan to invade Hardenberg’s home together and inflict the unique brand of punishment the “Edukator” pair have formulated. Ultimately their scheme is beset by unforeseen complications, drawing Peter into a furtive scramble that involves Hardenberg as well—the four of them launching onto a dramatic flight beset by hostility and surprising revelation.

Co-written and directed by Austrian fimmaker Hans Weingartner (“The White Sound”, “303”), “The Edukators” is an eye-opening tale of rebellion and profound personal discovery. Working with co-writer Katharina Held, Weingartner has crafted a unique and enthralling depiction of radicalized youthful rebellion and the ties that both bind and breach generations over time. Structured as a dramatic thriller encircling a provocative love triangle, “The Edukators” ultimately delivers a piercing depiction of injustice, passion and the all-too delicate nature of human frailty.


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