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Österreich/Deutschland 2013

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Regie:Erwin Wagenhofer
Produktionsland:Österreich/Deutschland 2013
Laufzeit:Ca. 112 Min
FSK:From 0 years
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The world around us is constantly changing. They are changes that require some adjustment, as they often entail problems that can only be effectively addressed with a trained mind. It is all the more astonishing that one aspect of our lives that seems to elude drastic changes time and again is school education. Here, old patterns are held on that have long since ceased to be sufficient to meet the demands of modern life, especially in economic terms. Is it due to the constantly growing pressure to perform that the school achievements of young people seem to be getting worse and worse? Or are the standards with which our schools work really hopelessly outdated? If that is so, what would have to change to ensure that the learning potential slumbering in small children is adequately challenged and promoted?

Diesen and other questions is explored by filmmaker Erwin Wagenhofer in his new documentary "Alphabet". He shows examples in which the maxim "performance" has a rather opposite effect on education and reveals how children can benefit from it if they are allowed to develop their minds freely. He visits young people who suffer or are unable to cope with the performance pressure of our society, which leads to a lack of prospects that is not very demanding. But he also introduces people who had the courage to break out of the given patterns, disregard prejudices or simply try something new.

Here is a reunion with Pablo Pineda Ferrer, known from the surprise hit "Me Too - Who wants to be normal". The Spaniard talks about how, despite all his reservations, he fought for his education and finally became the first European with Down's syndrome to graduate from university. But also the Frenchman André Stern, master guitar maker, journalist and composer, has his say and reports how he acquired his knowledge without ever having attended a school.

"Alphabet" raises many interesting topics which should definitely be discussed and thought about intensively. Unfortunately, the strength of the theses and themes is contrasted by a very sluggish staging, which unnecessarily prolongs the film with some much too long sequences and thus accepts to lose interested viewers to the resulting boredom. In addition, some theses are presented too uncritically, which is also not exactly conducive to the very important topic.

No question, as with "We feed the World" and "Let`s make Money" Erwin Wagenhofer has also presented "Alphabet", a largely interesting documentation on an important topic. In view of the complexity of the subject it would have been desirable, however, if Wagenhofer had renounced a few artistically valuable long shots and had decided on a denser production  which would have presented a few more pages on this subject as a basis for discussion. Thus, "Alphabet" has become an important, but also a very tough movie, which unfortunately never makes full use of its possibilities. As conversation and thought stimulation but definitely worth seeing!

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Kino Trailer zum Film "Alphabet (Österreich/Deutschland 2013)"
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