The Wave Review

Image for The Wave

A high school teacher's unusual experiment to demonstrate to his students what life is like under a dictatorship spins horribly out of control when he forms a social unit with a life of its own.


Rainer Wegner (Vogel) is a freewheeling post-punk teacher in a German high school who, to his dismay, has to teach autocracy in project week. His pupils are also less than enthralled by the prospect. As one sighs: “The Nazis sucked, we get it.” When Wegner suggests an experiment to see if a dictatorship could again be possible, his initially sceptical class embrace the idea, creating a group called The Wave. Before long, The Wave has taken over the school, leading to violence and ostracism. It’s a fascinating notion, convincingly realised. While it seems intrinsically German, the film is actually based on events in a Californian school in 1967 - a Hollywood remake is surely not far off.

A fascinating notion, convincingly realised.