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The Wave: movie review

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Rat Pack Film Production GMBH/Constantin Film Production/Newscom

(Read caption) Actor Jurgen Vogel faces down the barrel of a gun in director Dennis Gansel's 2008 film, 'The Wave.'

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3.5 / 5 stars

Some of the more controversial experiments in modern psychology have dealt with how far test subjects will go when told to do something. A few years before the infamous 1971 Stanford prison experiment, in which student “officers” abused their peer “prisoners,” an exercise known as “The Third Wave” took place at a California high school. To illustrate the Germans’ complicity during the Nazi regime, a teacher motivated his students into creating a unified, anti-Democracy front that looked frighteningly familiar. Of course, it caught on like wildfire, later inspiring a TV movie, an award-winning novelization, and now filmmaker Dennis Gansel’s fictional take with a twist: The Wave takes place in a current-day high school in Germany, the original scene of the crime, so to speak. It’s an intriguing slant on the story, an occasionally damning portrayal of pointless power.

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