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Review of Inklusion - gemeinsam anders

This is another I watched in class and actually rather enjoyed. It follows two students with disabilities, Steffi (who is in a wheelchair) and Paul (who has a mental disability-sorry if there isn't a more politically correct term- and a learning disability.) Both have attended "special schools" but will be going to a "normal," "inclusive" high school in the upcoming year. They are put in the same class(es) where Albert Schwarz seems to be their main teacher. I don't remember if the movie flat-out says that only of the two students will succeed or if my teacher gave it away, but at any rate *spoiler* one student ends up in their old school by the end of the movie.

Therefore, the movie became of guessing game of which student it would be: Paul tries to be friendly to everybody and seems eager to learn. He brings an action figure everywhere for comfort and that quickly gets spotted by bullies, who are mean to him. Paul fights back, showing a surprising aggressive side. However, he later intervenes when the bullies are harassing a fellow classmate, Marie, and the two become friends (the actors work well together and I like that their friendship seemed to stay at the level of friendship instead of becoming a couple.) Paul is also a good basketball and seems to integrate well with the other students because of this. Academically, he struggles, but with Marie's help, his grades improve.

Steffi, on the other hand, is surly and makes it clear from the beginning that she did not want to change schools. She avoids classmates who try to be friendly to her, teases Paul because of his handicap (making Paul display his aggressive side, although Steffi was very much provoking him and eventually admits as much) and makes romantic advances toward Mr. Schwarz, both online (where she has a dishonest profile on a Facebook-like site) and in the school. This causes tension for Mr. Schwarz (who, in a hideously boring subplot that very much takes away from the rest of the movie, is having problems with his wife.) Eventually Steffi realizes the error of her ways. She makes friends with a girl she was initially mean to, is more civil to Paul, and even improves her behavior toward Mr. Schwarz (who helps her-without incident-with her physical therapy.)

Meanwhile the school administration has alternated between patting themselves on the back and panicking over having allowed Paul and Steffi to join as students. Many parents are against them, including the parents of Paul's friend Marie. Mr. Schwarz decides to have his class perform at an assembly for the parents and administration to show just how well all of his students (even Paul and Steffi) are doing. Of course it does not go as planned and the assembly proves to be too much for one of the two students.

I will say it was...not that hard to figure out which student would succeed and which one would not, but the movie was nevertheless enjoyable and made me think of "Degrassi High" (I'm surprised they didn't have such a plot.) Unfortunately as a German TV movie, it is unlikely that this movie would be easy for English speakers to find, let alone be easily able to watch. However, if a subtitled version would be available, it is certainly worth a viewing.

I will give this a possibly overly-kind 8 out of 10 stars. Mr. Schwarz's personal life, Steffi's early brattiness, and a not entirely-satisfying ending (although a scene where a group picture of Mr. Schwarz's class is taken seemed extremely "Degrassi-ish") keep me from giving it a perfect score.
Added by mkusa
3 years ago on 16 September 2015 17:05