In the film “Die Welle”, directed by Dennis Gansel is about a teacher that is assigned to teach autocracy instead of anarchy. In the German setting, where the movie takes place, everybody knows that fascism and the Nazis sucked, they got that. Getting relegated to teaching autocracy was a real bummer since the students were filled with arrogance and laziness. Rainer Wegner constructs an unorthodox experiment, making an autocracy group of their own called “The Wave” or “Die Welle”. The real question is to what extent is an Autocratic government superior to all other governments or the counterpart the democratic government?
For those who don’t know the difference between autocracy and democracy is that democracy is the form of government ruled by a group of leaders and a president elected by the people of the country. The leadership is chosen by the majority of the people. The epitome of a democratic government that is most known to us is the United States of America. On the other hand, an autocracy is basically a dictatorship is when one person rules the country without any say from the public. The people don’t have any saying at all in how the nation is run.
An incredibly good example is Nazi Germany. Die Welle can be considered an allegory to modern day neo-nazism or old nazi Germany. The wave is just like hitler and the nazi group. It can make us reflect if a way of knowing, which is history, can be indeed true. How can we know something is right if we didn’t observe it first-handedly? We can think of it like this way, we can know that modern history is usually accurate since we were present at the times these events happened, and we concur that the events did indeed take place in that certain time frame.
History is like police work, you piece together what one thinks happened based on the evidence available, like eye-witnesses or crime scene evidence. Historians can acknowledge these evidence and can say what happened during that time frame based on the evidence provided to us, like the police work. Nazis are basically the same thing since we study the evidence provided to us, like the video and artifacts of Nazism. In the movie, Die Welle, we can allegorize the events that occurred in the movie since after the autocracy nded, the students had many different perspectives about what happened.
The events that occured in the movie can be seen in many different ways, it can be seen as very unorthodox since the experiment caused chaos and ultimately a student to get shot. Much like the Nazi-soldiers when their reign was over, many just panicked and killed themselves because they could not handle, the truth, that it was over. Much like when the wave ended and the kid took out his gun. George orwell said: “Who controls the past controls the future”.
Does this relate to historical knowledge? To what extent can we trust historical “knowledge” since we didn’t experience it first-hand? This is a question we should all ask ourselves since this knowledge issue applies in a colossal way to the movie. We saw autocracy as a bad thing since it caused so much damage in the community, and even one youngster getting shot. Can we think of a way of governing a body of people as good or bad since it has been seen to be proven effective throughout history? As the movie quotes, “autocracy provides discipline”.
It’s like an opiate for the masses since an ideology can rule them all. In conclusion, the movie can be seen as a knowledge issue in historical facts since we weren’t there to experience the allegory between Nazi Germany and the Wave autocratical group. It also relates to, is all knowledge historical knowledge? Since we have history, we should learn from our mistakes. A good quote that shows why the wave is so representative of national socialism is: “You’re pissed off just because The Wave does not follow your rule! ”.
Courtney from Study Moose
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