Der Baader Meinhof Komplex (The Baader Meinhof Complex) Reviews
But terrorism is not limited to small groups that use militant force against innocents. It also points to governments that use military force against other countries in a direct, or cowardly covert way.
The birth of the Red Army Faction in Germany back in the 60's coincides with a decade of turmoil, protest, rebellion and outrage against the big "democratic" nations of the world. At first peaceful protest is the way to show the disgust of the many against the atrocities that many times are just ignored by first world countries, because of their own interests.
This film captures this turmoil. It places you back in the late 60's and early 70's and shows the evolution of the Red Army Faction. And it's not always pretty. You might go from supportive to condemning the same group and yet, still understanding the degree of desperation their leaders and followers felt in a winless war against their own government.
It is summed up in part of Ulrike Meinhof May 1968 document that states "Protest is when I say I don't like this and that. Resistance is when I see to it that things that I don't like no longer occur. Protest is when I say I will no longer go along with it. Resistance is when I see to it that no one else goes along with it anymore either."
It tells the story of the rise of historical far-left terrorist organization, the Red Army Faction (RAF). When a group of youths and activists are disenfranchised with the Western powers, spurred by world events such as the Vietnam War, the Isreali-Palestinian conflict and the rapid growth of the Soviet Union, they decide to send a message by setting a department store on fire. After serving a brief jail period, the youths, including Andreas Baader and his girlfriend Gudrun Ensslin, join forces with left-wing journalist Ulrike Meinhof and begin assaulting government figures and prominent capitalists, with the help of Palestinian extremists.
It's grizzly, and to it's immense credit, in never ever tries to either condemn or condone the RAF, merely presenting the facts as they happened and allowing the audience to form their own opinions - something Hollywood rarely manages.
Combining that with some outstanding performances from the cast that includes Moritz Bleibtreu, Martina Gedeck and Johanna Wokalek, and what you have is one of the best recent historical dramas.
A truly gripping film.
It is a good dramatization of real events, a movie with a clear will to be accurate not only in the facts but in the whole atmosphere, the picture smells and tastes like the 1970s, the cars, the clothes, the furniture have that particular look. It is an unusual subject, I haven't come across films about the RAF and I find it quite interesting to see their radicalization and the support they had between the young Germans of the time. The movie is quite long and summarizes the main events in the group and the hunt by the chief of the Federal Police of the time, Horst Herold. You get to see the ideology of both parts from a quite neutral perspective; as a viewer I wasn't drawn to either side, I felt detached of these radical minds, I wouldn't say they were evil but I would definitely say that their right motivations got twisted along the way; I would add that in the long run their struggle achieved nothing truly remarkable.
Convincing delivery from the ensemble cast, particularly those protagonists.
Fairly inspiring in the whole.