The Resident Offspring has awfully fine taste in films and she picked an excellent one for us this weekend.
Die Fetten Jahre sind Vorbei (The Fat Years are Over), entitled The Edukators for world release, is the story of young German revolutionaries, who work surreptitiously to install unease in the hearts of the uber-wealthy in an attempt to educate and to exact change in the system. They break into the homes of the wealthy, not to steal, but to artfully rearrange the furniture, and leave a message declaring that the days of plenty are numbered.
When Peter's debt-ridden girlfriend, Jule, moves in with him and Jan, the dynamics of the relationship of the trio take a decided shift, resulting in an impetuous action which detracts from their normally careful and measured attacks.
And then all hell breaks loose. A botched break in, a desperate kidnapping, and an uneasy love triangle, threaten their relationship, their ideologies, and their very freedom.
I guess it's probably evident that I loved this film. It is smart, compelling, and tackles revolutionary theory engagingly without resorting to preachiness or to formula. The three actors who play Jan, Jule, and Peter are all beautiful to watch and are utterly convincing as idealistic young people trapped in a consumerist society. Yet, the director was clever enough to allow the development of their increasingly sympathetic characters to unfold slowly and realistically. I cared greatly about all four major characters in this film (including the conservative industrialist kidnap victim), and was left with a feeling of joy and well-being at the end of The Edukators. It's a warm, funny, and at times highly suspenseful treatise on the nature of love, ideology, and responsibility.
I can't wait to watch it again.
(gossip: there have been rumours of a Hollywood interest in remaking this film, setting it in the US instead of Germany, causing Daniel Brühl, who plays Jan, to declare (I assume ironically) that he hopes the part of Jan is played by either Jake Gyllenhaal or Eddie Murphy.)