Thursday, March 11, 2010

The Baader-Meinhof Complex - DVD Review


Starring Moritz Bleibtreu, Martina Gedeck, Johanna Wokalek and Bruno Ganz.
Directed by Uli Edel.

I'm vaguely aware of the RAF these days. I feel like I knew more about it in high school, but then, the history wasn't as old.

While the US was having its hippie protests and flower power in the late 1960's/early 1970's, the kids in Germany were a little more violent in their protests of those Western dogs invading Vietnam. Without glamorizing or demonizing the main players, we see how angry these radicals are at Germany's support of Israel and the Americans in Vietnam, and it leads to violence fairly quickly. Even though people are dying, they become Robin Hoods to a section of the population, but terrorism breeds terrorism, and even after major players are captured or killed, the next generation takes it further.

We get the story mainly through the eyes of Meinhof, a mother, a journalist who uses the power of her pen to condemn what she sees as a corrupt government. She teams up with Baader, whose visions of a better Germany get more twisted the longer he goes.

Bruno Ganz enhances any movie he appears in, and here he's the chief of police trying to stop the violence. Regardless of motive, the movie makes it pretty clear terrorists can only end up one way.

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