Germany today. During project week, high school teacher Rainer Wenger (Jürgen Vogel) comes up with an experiment in order to explain to his students how totalitarian governments work. A role-playing game with tragic results begins. Within a few days, what began with harmless notions like discipline and community builds into a real movement: THE WAVE. By the third day, the students start ostracizing and threatening others.
When the conflict finally erupts into violence at an intramural water polo game, the teacher decides to break off the experiment. But it's too late. THE WAVE is out of control...