Uprising of the Young

Two films in six months don’t quite make a trend but there were interesting parallels between tonight’s ZDF film Aufstand der Jungen (Uprising of the Young) and last year’s Die kommenden Tage. Both are overtly political sci-fi (yes, I know that most sci-fi is political in its own way) and both made in Germany. Where Die kommenden Tage concerned a Europe whose borders have been closed to immigrants while war rages over dwindling natural resources, Aufstand der Jungen confronts fears over young people caught in spirals of debt, demanding rights to education, health care and pensions enjoyed by the older generation but which are now increasingly out of financial reach due to ubiquitous precarity. The privacy (or lack thereof) of our personal data was also a central theme. The message is a topical one – the state does its best to wipe out a germinal autonomous movement of young people but only succeeds in generating a nationwide revolt. “A class struggle has been made of the generational conflict” is the narrator’s unfortunate gloss on this, as though the latter isn’t merely an appearance, a moment of the former.

Aufstand is in Doku-Fiction form and has the weaknesses of that style. Like its predecessor it uses minimal special effects more to outline than detail its future dystopia. But it raises quite a number of important issues in an interesting manner and for this reason one should not complain too much.