Love and scandal are the best sweeteners of tea. —Henry Fielding

28 January 2006

The Edukators

Another bad movie for Saturday morning. This time it's Hans Weingartner's The Edukators. In German it's called Die Fetten Jahre Sind Vorbei, which I think means "Your Days of Plenty Are Numbered" or something similar. It's a film--not unlike Bernardo Bertolucci's The Dreamers--about young, disaffected Europeans who want to enact social justice on their own terms and bring down all of the capitalist pigs that make their lives bad. Except that they're really making their own lives bad. I've never understood this kind of revolution, and none of the films I see about radicals of this kind make me like them any better. Filmmakers always seem to confuse social revolution with sexual revolution, as well. There is all of this talk of free-love, even though no one really believes it and criminal acts like vandalism and terrorism are supposed to be okay. The audience is supposed to root for criminal behavior as though it were really the way to feed the hungry in the third world. I don't think I know how to feed all of the hungry in the third world, but I think I'm pretty sure that re-arranging furniture in upper-class German homes isn't going to do it, I'm pretty sure that quitting my job isn't going to do it, and I'm fairly certain that vandalizing other people's possessions isn't going to do it.

Films like this frustrate me. I don't like to be told to root for characters who have no redeeming qualities except their own anger, boredom and sense of entitlement. Some filmmakers know how to do this and succeed (see: Days of Being Wild). Hans Weingartner isn't yet one of them. To the bottom of the list: just above Munich.