Synopsis by Mark Deming
Three young radicals face off against an older man who left behind his ideals years ago in this drama from Austria. Jan (Daniel Brühl) and Peter (Stipe Erceg) are a pair of leftist political activists who have their own ideas of how to strike out in the name of economic justice. Jan and Peter like to break into the homes of the rich, re-arrange their belongings, and leave behind a note crediting "the Edukators" with the invasion, satisfied that their efforts will teach their victims a lesson about the futility of wealth. Peter's girlfriend, Jule (Julia Jentsch), who has found herself homeless and deeply in debt after she ran into a Mercedes Benz in a car accident, moves in with the two friends and starts joining them on their periodic missions. Jule convinces Peter and Jan that they should hit the home of Hardenberg (Burghart Klaussner), the businessman whose Mercedes caused her so much trouble. They agree, but when Jule makes the mistake of leaving behind her cell phone, they're forced to return, only to discover Hardenberg at home and waiting for them. Not certain what to do, Jan, Peter, and Jule abduct Hardenberg and take him to a cabin in the woods while they plan their next move. However, their attempts to enlighten Hardenberg fall on deaf ears; they discover that the businessman was a leftist activist himself in his college days and, several decades on, looks upon his radical past as the folly of youth. Die Fetten Jahre Sind Vorbei (aka The Edukators) was screened at the 2004 Cannes Film Festival.
kidnapping, activism, left-wing, militant, radical