Alphabet – film by erwin wagenhofer: the dark side of modern education

Erwin Wagenhofer’s documentary "Alphabet" shows the dark side of our modern education system, which is focused on efficiency and performance. Through interviews with experts, students and parents, the failure of the current education system is revealed and the dangers for the future society are highlighted.

Wagenhofer sensitively shows how the education system not only affects the creativity and personality of students, but also negatively affects their mental health. The focus on grades and degrees turns students into unhappy and stressed people who find it difficult to find their way in the real world.

In an impressive way "Alphabet discusses important topics such as educational reform, pressure to perform, individuality and educational justice, which concern us all and whose importance for society cannot be underestimated.

In this film review, we will take a closer look at "Alphabet" and look at the importance of education in modern society.


The film "Alphabet by Erwin Wagenhofer deals with the education system in different countries and criticizes the one-sided focus on performance pressure, competition and standardization. The director shows that the education system should not only be a tool for imparting knowledge, but should also take into account the development of creativity and emotions. A good education should not only focus on individual performance, but also on collective learning and social competence.
Wagenhofer presents different experts and countries that take different approaches to education. It becomes clear that the school system in many countries is primarily geared toward preparing students for specific tests and exams. However, this neglects the development of creativity and problem-solving skills.
The film "Alphabet" is thought-provoking and shows that a change in the education system is necessary. It poses the question of whether today’s education system is still up to date and whether it is not time to pursue alternative approaches. Wagenhofer emphasizes the importance of education for the future of our society and calls for a rethinking of the education system.

Content of the film

The film "Alphabet – Film by Erwin Wagenhofer" is a documentary film that deals with the subject of education. Wagenhofer shows how today’s school system inhibits the learning process of students and how it simultaneously contributes to their falling into conformism. In doing so, he also poses the question of whether today’s education system is still up to date at all.

The film begins with Wagenhofer visiting school classes and observing the learning conditions of the students. He sees students sitting in class unmotivated and disinterested. It then explores the question of what education is in the first place and what it is supposed to achieve. He also addresses the issue of economics, as he believes that the education system is primarily geared to meeting the needs of the labor market.

As the film progresses, Wagenhofer meets experts such as Jean Ziegler, Noam Chomsky and Ken Robinson, who give their opinions on education and present alternative solutions. The differences between the educational systems in different countries are also addressed. Wagenhofer shows that things can be done differently and that we need to set out to change today’s education system.

Alphabet - Film by Erwin Wagenhofer: The dark side of modern education
  • Themes of the film:
  • Education
  • School system
  • Teaching methods
  • Alternative solutions
  • Economics

Overall, the film "Alphabet – Film by Erwin Wagenhofer" makes you think and encourages you to reflect on the education system. He points out that not only is a better school system needed, but that we as a society must also be prepared to change the way we look at learning.

Alphabet - Film by Erwin Wagenhofer: The dark side of modern education

The message of the film "Alphabet by Erwin Wagenhofer

"Alphabet" is a film by Austrian director Erwin Wagenhofer that looks at the education system in different countries. Through his filming in Germany, Finland and the U.S., he shows different approaches to education and the impact on the students and educators involved.

A clear message of the film is that the current education system in many countries urgently needs to be changed. The weaknesses of the current educational structure are pointed out. The focus is often on knowledge learned by rote rather than on the development of critical skills and independent thinking.

The film also addresses the role of teachers. They are often overloaded and have to follow a nonsensical system. Instead of nurturing their students and providing them with a comprehensive education, they only have time to prepare them for exams and standardized tests. This leads to a decline in creativity and engagement among students and teachers alike.

  • The message of Erwin Wagenhofer’s film "Alphabet" is very topical, especially in times of rapid change and increasing digitalization.
  • It becomes clear that the education system in many countries is in urgent need of revision.
  • Calls for the education system to focus on developing critical thinking and individual skills.

Overall, Erwin Wagenhofer’s film Alphabet shows that the current education system in many countries is inadequate and needs to be changed so that today’s students can become tomorrow’s adults, capable of successfully implementing change and living in the 21st century. actively shaping the 21st century.

Successes and awards of the film "Alphabet" by Erwin Wagenhofer

The film "Alphabet by Erwin Wagenhofer became internationally very successful and received numerous awards. For example, it was shown at the prestigious Toronto International Film Festival and received a lot of attention there.

The film was also highly praised in Germany and received, for example, the "German Human Rights Film Award" as well as the "Cinematheque Award of the Year". The topic of the film, namely the critical examination of the education system, attracted great interest and led to many discussions.

The success of the film shows that it is important to take a critical look at the education system and discuss alternatives. "Alphabet encouraged the development of new ideas and concepts and to make a better education possible for all.

  • International success at festivals
  • Winner of the German Human Rights Film Award
  • Winner of the Cinematheque Award of the Year
  • Triggers discussions and provides impetus for new educational concepts


The film "Alphabet by Erwin Wagenhofer is a critical look at our education system. It highlights weaknesses and problems and provides food for thought for possible solutions. Wagenhofer presents a variety of interviews with experts in the field of education, offering different perspectives on the issue.

Particularly impressive is the creativity and passion of the teachers that Wagenhofer portrays. Despite the tight constraints of the system, they try to provide a positive learning experience for their students and prepare them for life. However, the film also shows that this effort is often not enough to solve the problems of the education system.

The main message of the film is that we urgently need changes in our education system to ensure a better future for our children. These changes must be initiated by the government, school boards and teachers alike. Parents also play an important role, as they can support and motivate their children.

Alphabet - Film by Erwin Wagenhofer: The dark side of modern education
  • Overall "Alphabet is an important film that shakes us up and makes us think. It should be seen by all educational politicians, teachers and parents in order to find solutions together for the weaknesses of our educational system.

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