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Political Thriller Kicks Off
International Film Society Year

RELEASED: Aug. 31, 2007

Edukators art workEAU CLAIRE — Three anti-globalization political activists inadvertently kidnap a wealthy German businessman in "The Edukators" (Germany-Austria 2004), screening Sept. 6-9 at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. The first of the year's International Film Society presentations will be shown at 6 and 8:30 p.m. Thursday through Sunday in Davies Theatre.

"Your days of plenty are numbered," read the cryptic notes left by The Edukators, a mysterious group that breaks into villas — not to steal, but to maliciously disarrange the orderly lives of the wealthy. Daniel Bruhl ("Good Bye Lenin!") and Stipe Erceg star as Jan and Peter, the best friends behind the subversive idea. Julia Jentsch ("Sophie Scholl: The Final Days") is Peter's girlfriend Jule, whose overwhelming indebtedness to a rich businessman gives the activists a meaningful target.

Things begin to go awry when Jan and Jule fall in love, but they really go wrong when they are surprised by the owner of the villa they are vandalizing. Hardenberg (Burghart Klaussner) recognizes Jule as the person who accidentally wrecked his Mercedes and is paying off an onerous debt. Not knowing what to do, Jan and Jule tie up Hardenberg and call Peter for help.

"When the shaggy young trio wind up abducting Hardenberg as part of a botched political protest and stashing him in a mountain hideaway belonging to Jule's uncle, a curious exchange starts," wrote Michael Wilmington of the Chicago Tribune. Hardenberg is (or claims to be) a former radical, and he engages his three captors in a debate on ideals — while driving wedges into the romantic triangle.

"To take this seriously as a political film is to risk working yourself up into a useless lather," wrote The New York Times. "But to get hung up on such matters would be to scant the pleasures of a slyly effective thriller and of a deft comedy of romantic confusion. Whatever its shortcomings as a consideration of globalization and its discontents, 'The Edukators' succeeds brilliantly in telling the story of a man who falls in love with his best buddy's girlfriend and doesn't know what to do about it."

Directed by Hans Weingarten ("The White Sound"), "The Edukators" is in German, subtitled in English, and rated R.

Admission is $2 for International Film Society members and UW-Eau Claire faculty/staff, or $1 for UW-Eau Claire students. Tickets are available at the University Service Center, 715-836-3727, in Davies Center's east lobby and at the door.

The film is sponsored by the International Film Society.

-30-

JS/KH

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