Original Title: Die Auserwählten
Director: Christoph Röhl
Drama / Thriller / Biography / Social Issue Film / Historical Drama / Coming-of-Age
- Julia Jentsch
- Ulrich Tukur
- Leon Seidel
The Chosen Ones, originally titled “Die Auserwählten” in Germany, is a gripping 2014 German TV movie that delves into the shocking and disconcerting reality of the infamous Odenwaldschule scandal. This film, directed by Christoph Röhl, unfolds a compelling storyline that exposes the harrowing experiences of students at the Odenwaldschule, a renowned educational institution in Germany, during the late 1970s and the far-reaching consequences that persisted for decades. In this comprehensive article, we will explore the film’s narrative, its critical reception, and the real-life events that inspired this powerful and thought-provoking drama. We will also guide you on how to watch The Chosen Ones on Amazon Prime, so you can experience this poignant story for yourself.
The Chosen Ones Trailer
Set against the backdrop of the late seventies, The Chosen Ones introduces us to Petra Grust, a 29-year-old biology teacher who embarks on her journey at the prestigious Odenwaldschule. However, Petra’s enthusiasm is soon met with a disconcerting reality that she couldn’t have anticipated. As she settles into her role, she becomes inexplicably drawn to Frank Hoffmann, a troubled 13-year-old student who seems to be grappling with severe issues.
Petra’s concern for Frank grows as she witnesses disturbing incidents, such as a teacher in the woods with a student and a desperate Frank emerging from a shower under the watchful eye of the school’s headmaster, Pistorius. Her attempts to seek answers from her colleagues are met with indifference and resistance, creating an atmosphere of secrecy and denial.
Even Frank’s best friend, Erik, falls victim to Pistorius’s malevolent influence. When Erik bravely confides in his mother about the abuse, he is unjustly accused of drug possession and expelled from the school. The situation becomes increasingly dire, and Petra begins to unravel the horrifying truth of what Pistorius is subjecting Frank and others to.
Frank’s father, Helmut, who also serves as the chairman of the school’s sponsoring association, initially places blind trust in Pistorius. But as evidence mounts, he confronts the headmaster, only to be met with Pistorius’s disturbing assertion that he represents a “progressive” morality. Helmut, undeterred, takes a stand against the sinister network of relationships that protect Pistorius.
In a bold move, Helmut resigns, triggering a chain of events that culminate in Petra being unjustly blamed for the school’s woes. The film then fast-forwards thirty years, when Frank and Petra’s paths cross once again. Their lives have taken different trajectories, but their shared trauma at the Odenwaldschule binds them together.
Frank, along with other traumatized victims, decides to break their long-held silence. They organize a hearing and educational event at the Odenwaldschule, where they share their harrowing experiences with former students and parents. Initially met with disbelief, their allegations gradually gain credibility as more survivors come forward, finally free to speak their truth.
In the film’s credits, it is revealed that from the 1960s to the 1990s, at least 132 students fell victim to the horrors of the Odenwaldschule. Shockingly, none of the perpetrators were convicted due to the statute of limitations on these heinous abuses.
Review and Critical Acclaim
The Chosen Ones has received critical acclaim for its powerful storytelling, compelling characters, and its unflinching exploration of a dark chapter in Germany’s educational history. The film’s portrayal of the Odenwaldschule scandal has resonated deeply with audiences and critics alike, shedding light on the need for accountability and justice in cases of institutional abuse.
The performances of the cast, particularly Petra and Frank, portrayed by exceptional actors, have been lauded for their emotional depth and authenticity. The film masterfully captures the emotional turmoil, resilience, and determination of the survivors who ultimately find their voices.
The real-life events that inspired The Chosen Ones have sparked public discourse and awareness about the need to confront past injustices. The film serves as a stark reminder of the importance of safeguarding vulnerable individuals within educational institutions and holding those in positions of power accountable for their actions.
How to Watch The Chosen Ones online on CineAthens.com
If you’re intrigued by the powerful narrative of The Chosen Ones and wish to watch it, you can do so online on CineAthens.com. By clicking on one of the blue buttons on this page, you can access this compelling film and immerse yourself in its thought-provoking storytelling.
The Chosen Ones (Die Auserwählten) stands as a poignant and compelling cinematic portrayal of the Odenwaldschule scandal, an unsettling chapter in Germany’s educational history. This film not only serves as a stark reminder of the need for justice and accountability but also highlights the resilience and courage of survivors who dare to break their silence. We encourage you to watch this thought-provoking movie online on CineAthens.com.