A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Freaks – You're One of Us is a 2020 German film (with English subtitles) that proposes that many of us are "different" but that the world suppresses differences because society can't handle those who don't conform. It's not an unusual premise -- think of all the teen dystopia movies about fitting in -- but this one uses people with "superpowers" to illustrate the notion. These people with superpowers are the outliers, and a system of prison-like clinics are the method used by society to fight nonconformity. Guns, sedation, and policing are all used to suppress people who don't conform. A man is shot dead. A woman is punched in the nose. A man using his powers electrocutes several people. A child pushes a desk through a wall. There's bullying, and language includes "f--k," "s--t," "bitch," "bastard," and "damn." The sound of a bed rocking is heard as two people have sex off-screen. Men make threatening catcalls at a lone woman walking at night and refer to her "juicy ass." A young man appears to be masturbating under his covers to a comic book. A man gets drunk when he thinks his wife is cheating on him.
- Parents say
- Kids say
There aren't any reviews yet. Be the first to review this title.
What's the story?
As a young girl, Wendy (Cornelia Groschel) caused some unusual trouble at school, angrily throwing a large desk through a building wall. She's the primary "freak" in FREAKS – YOU'RE ONE OF US, but she's long been unaware of her unusual abilities, because ever since that incident, her power and anger have been controlled by medication and "therapy." Now an adult, she's a fry cook at Chop Heaven with an abusive boss and a low salary, living with her husband and their young son, trying to pay the bills. One day, Marek (Wotan Wilke Mohring), a disheveled man, approaches her on the street and explains that she's "one of us," part of a group of people with secret superpowers being suppressed by authorities. The revelation changes her life. Her awkward young co-worker Elmar (Tim Oliver Schultz) is also on the meds, suppressing his power to generate electricity at will. While Marek wants to hide from the authorities and Wendy wants to assert her powers to help herself and others, Elmar is a disturbed, vengeful opportunist who runs around in a superhero costume. He doesn't hesitate to shock people, even lethally, if they get in his way. The violent damage he leaves in his path alerts the authorities and puts Marek and Wendy in danger. When the trio try to release other "freaks" still imprisoned by a conformist system, they cause more problems than they solve.
Is it any good?
This movie begins as if it's promising a comedy, but it takes a dark turn that leaves comedy and good sense behind. The uneven tone is both confusing and disappointing. Freaks – You're One of Us tries, using a metaphor of superpowers, to raise the issue of accepting difference and how society fails to deal with it well. The movie isn't explicit, but the metaphor suggests that society should show more tolerance and acceptance of all races, religions, nationalities, cultures, political views, and physical abilities. Freaks promotes the message that rising up against oppression is something all of us have the superpower to do. That takeaway keeps this from being a waste of time.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about when we view differences in other people as "good" and when we view them as "bad." Do you think that different points of view strengthen or weaken a free society? Why?
Why do you think the authorities in Freaks – You're One of Us want to lock up the "freaks" with special powers? Why are people so afraid of those who are different?
How might a free society harness special powers and abilities to improve the world?
Our editors recommend
For kids who love superheroes
Top advice and articles
Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.
Streaming options powered by JustWatch