Film & DVD Review: The Edukators (Fetten Jahre sind vorbei, Die)

Brazil:14 / Germany:12 / Netherlands:12 / Switzerland:14 (canton of Geneva) / Switzerland:14 (canton of Vaud) / UK:15 / Czech Republic:12 / USA:R
Duration: 127 minutes

Reviewed by Jacqueline Sharp

I’ll start off with a quote from the end of the movie, “Some people never change”

An interesting quote from an brilliant script filled with insight. This prompts us to ask ‘Do people change?’ ‘Can people change?’

We each hold ownership of our thoughts and how we perceive the world to be, and perhaps more importantly how we want the world to be.

The Edukators depicts change and how a small group of people take control of their thoughts and ideals of how they want the world to be. They target rich people who own wealthy villas; they break in rearranging the furniture and crazily leave notes to frighten them. The signed notes describe themselves as ‘The Edukators’.

Suddenly they slip-up, victims of their own stupidity. One of their break-in goes horribly wrong, and they put themselves in the position of kidnappers.

Jan, (Daniel Bruhl), Peter, (Stipe Erceg) and Jule, (Julia Jentsch) are young idealists who have targeted the rich. They have strong anti-establishment views.

Their hostage Hardenberg, (Burghart Klaubner), is forced to listen to his kidnappers views on the Third World amongst other things. He is provoked, they ask him “why he doesn’t give money to the poor who work as wage slaves for Western Countries”. Hardenberg battles it out with them. He seems unperturbed.

Mid-way the film becomes most interesting, the plot deepens, and the script diversifies. Hardenberg opens up, he is not all he seems. It is weird that at times that he seems to enjoy the company of the young rebels. He plays cards with them, and even cooks everyone a meal.

I couldn’t help think that he had a clever game plan all along, he certainly had the knack of making his kidnappers relaxed.

The Edukators is not heavy on politics! It is a playful movie, which comes to the screen with an open mind. The script is what makes it! This is why it has achieved such great success.

At Cannes in 2004 The Edukators was in the official selection in competition and I am told won a ten minute standing ovation at the end of its screening.

The actors in The Edukators bring the written page to life. They dramatise the plot, making it easy for the director and screenwriter Hans Weingartner to place the pieces of the jigsaw together. From the production notes, Hans Weingartner says “In a film like The Edukators, everything is down to the actors.The camera must follow them, so that it looks like they are determining the shape of each shot.They must look and feel free to move as they please. The position of the camera can never determine what they do. The notion fits in with the film’s impulse toward freedom, spontaneity and lightness”.

The Edukators is Han’s second movie, the first being The White Noise (2002). He has done a wonderful job making this movie, and has accomplished what he set out to do, the movie is relaxed, well paced and unfussy.

The Edukators is a thought-provoking and enjoyable movie that I highly recommend! Another great masterpiece that has come out of a low budget! As Han’s puts it “Also the budget was kept deliberately low, this way, I used a limited crew and was able to set the shooting schedule the way I wanted it – usually”.

The Edukators was produced by Hans Weingartner’s film Company y3film in partnership with Antonin Svoboda, Austrian independent producer at coop99.



Hans Weingartner


  • Katharina Held
  • Hans Weingartner PRODUCERS

  • Antonin Svoboda
  • Hans Weingartner CAST

  • Daniel Brühl …. Jan
  • Julia Jentsch …. Jule
  • Stipe Erceg …. Peter
  • Burghart Klaußner …. Hardenberg
  • Peer Martiny …. Villenbesitzer
  • Petra Zieser …. Villenbesitzerin
  • Laura Schmidt …. Tochter
  • Sebastian Butz …. Sohn
  • Oliver Bröcker …. Aggressiver Globalisierungsgegner
  • Knut Berger …. Globalisierungsgegner
  • Hanns Zischler …. Vermieter
  • Claudio Caiolo …. Paolo
  • Bernhard Bettermann …. Jules Chef
  • Sylvia Haider …. Neureiche Frau 1
  • Claudia Jakobshagen …. Neureiche Frau 2
  • Reiner Heise …. Fahrscheinkontolleur
  • Heinz Kreitzen …. Obdachloser
  • Lara Schützsack …. Peters Bekannte
  • Heinz Fitz …. Wanderer
  • Albert Gürtler …. Betrunkener CAST NOTES

    Daniel Bruhl, has starred in the 2003 International movie hit “Good Bye Lenin”. He won best actor at the German Film Awards for his 2002 performance in Hans Weingartner’s The White Noise”. Other movie credits have been “Love In Thoughts”, (2003); Elefantenherz, (2002); Vaya Con Dios, (2002).

    Stipe Erceg was recently awarded Germany’s Max Ophuls Prize for Best Young Actor for his performance in Nadya Derado’s “Yugotrip”. He has also starred in “The Mann”, (Berlin’s Film Festival). Other credits are Kiwi and Tiger, (2002). He will soon be seen in “Summer Dogs”.

    Julia Jentsch can add being named as Best New Talent to her credit by “Theater Heute” Magazine in 2002. Since 2001 she has played Desdemona in Luk Perceval’s staging of Shakespeare’s “Othello” and has starred as Elektra in Andreas Kriegenburg’s production of Euripides’ “Orestes.” She has starred in My Brother The Vampire, (2002) and Angry Kisses, (2000). She will soon be seen in “Schneeland”.

    Burghart Klaubner starred in “Good Bye Lenin, (2003); Crazy, (1999); 23, (1997). He recently toured Germany with his swing-era band performing a program of songs by Charles Trenet.

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