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The Wave Case Study

jclarke | Thursday March 10, 2022

Categories: Genres & Case Studies, GCSE, Hot Entries, Films & Case Studies, Non-Hollywood Films, Thriller, Drama, Film Analysis, Key Concepts, Analysis, Representation, Audience, Film Language

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Exploring films that have been produced outside of those made and distributed globally by the Hollywood film studios offers us an exciting opportunity to broaden our horizons: in terms of storytelling (the way of telling, or organizing the elements of a story), the stories themselves become of broader interest in other cultures and their cinemas. Watching films from around the world, rather than only those made by American and British film producers is an accessible and enriching way to develop a sense of the differences in how the world is understood.

In this resource we are going to focus on the film The Wave (2008). It’s a feature length film that offers us a route into thinking about a number of socially relevant subjects and particularly about education and the relationship between teacher and student.

Before we refer specifically to particular moments from The Wave, which is the film text it will be useful for us to work through a number of contextual reference points that give us a ‘big picture’ view through which to consider the film itself. In this way we are paying attention to what the film’s producers have arguably encoded the film with. In doing so, our role as a viewer is to decode the text.


It’s perhaps an obvious point to make, but it’s an always valid one: all films manipulate audiences and this is one of the fundamental pleasures of a film and one of the key reasons that we chose to view a particular movie. It is because we want to experience…

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