Bandits Reviews

  • Feb 13, 2021

    (there are some spoilers in my review) "Bandits" is a 1999 film directed by Katja von Garnier. At first, it appears to be a classic break out of prison story, much like "Thelma and Louise", but it has much more to it than the thrill in being chased. The story contains elements of a feminist and religious agenda, as well as being rather abstract. The film continually borders on realism, though incorporates too much symbolism to be completely so. The story of "Bandits" is of women who befriend one another in prison and share their passion for making music. They form a band called the ‘Bandits' and are able to escape during a trip they take outside the prison to perform for a upscale community outreach society. During their escape they are able to publish an album and make the press; and eventually become loved and supported by many people. Though in the end they are unable to escape the country as they plan to all along, we question whether Garnier rebelled against the Classical Paradigm in this way to convey alternative ideas about one's purpose in life. The Classical Paradigm is the most popular way to organize a story. It begins with an exposition which introduces the characters, setting, and sets up the problems that will be faced. Next, there is a rise to action leading into the second act. This act contains about half of the content in the story. The second act is dominated by the climax which is the "peak" of the film/book. This is where there is a change in the characters. After this their is a resolution leading to closure. That last act is about a quarter of the film/book. "Bandits" does not follow the Classical Paradigm. Instead, there are many points in the film where one can interpret a climax. Moreover, there is no closure in the film, as we are left without a finished scene of the women dead nor are we left with a hopeful image of the women having escaped. Rather, we are left with the moments before they escape, where they throw down their weapons, but the head detective had already called an order to his SWAT team to fire. We never see the bullets strike the women, though we can extrapolate their deaths since Garnier closes with a image of a hand reaching for anothers from above with a sunsetting in the background. The hand from above can be interpreted to be Marie's (as she recently passed away) and the other hand to be one of the remaining three women. This scene is complex, as it is not an ideal ending of what we had hoped but portrays this as the right way for the women to escape, departing from earth. Furthermore, it assumes there is an afterlife, and that this life after life is preferable to the one they lived filled with pain, misunderstanding, and stress of escaping. Feminist scholar and film critic, Laura Muluey, spoke out against most films for containing a bias of a ‘male gaze'. She claimed that much of film viewed women actresses as sex objects that were objectified to be viewed as symbols rather than dynamic characters like the men. In Bandits we see that these women are strong independent and angry souls, containing much more complexity than their male counterparts. Additionally, we see a woman's gaze at the domestic abuse that took place in the film, since it is Emma who is seen as the victim rather than the man she killed. We see the pain that haunts her after losing her child due to being beaten by a man in her jazz band, and we see other women consoling her despite being angry and unapproachable themselves. Furthermore in Bandits Garnier portrays the women interested in sex "Angel" as a strong women to simply embracing her promiscuous sexuality and her not being dirty or wrong for doing so. Though the audience may not be able to identify the climax in Garnier's "Bandits", everyone who watches this stunning film can see a revolutionary way of constructing a story with women lead characters.

    (there are some spoilers in my review) "Bandits" is a 1999 film directed by Katja von Garnier. At first, it appears to be a classic break out of prison story, much like "Thelma and Louise", but it has much more to it than the thrill in being chased. The story contains elements of a feminist and religious agenda, as well as being rather abstract. The film continually borders on realism, though incorporates too much symbolism to be completely so. The story of "Bandits" is of women who befriend one another in prison and share their passion for making music. They form a band called the ‘Bandits' and are able to escape during a trip they take outside the prison to perform for a upscale community outreach society. During their escape they are able to publish an album and make the press; and eventually become loved and supported by many people. Though in the end they are unable to escape the country as they plan to all along, we question whether Garnier rebelled against the Classical Paradigm in this way to convey alternative ideas about one's purpose in life. The Classical Paradigm is the most popular way to organize a story. It begins with an exposition which introduces the characters, setting, and sets up the problems that will be faced. Next, there is a rise to action leading into the second act. This act contains about half of the content in the story. The second act is dominated by the climax which is the "peak" of the film/book. This is where there is a change in the characters. After this their is a resolution leading to closure. That last act is about a quarter of the film/book. "Bandits" does not follow the Classical Paradigm. Instead, there are many points in the film where one can interpret a climax. Moreover, there is no closure in the film, as we are left without a finished scene of the women dead nor are we left with a hopeful image of the women having escaped. Rather, we are left with the moments before they escape, where they throw down their weapons, but the head detective had already called an order to his SWAT team to fire. We never see the bullets strike the women, though we can extrapolate their deaths since Garnier closes with a image of a hand reaching for anothers from above with a sunsetting in the background. The hand from above can be interpreted to be Marie's (as she recently passed away) and the other hand to be one of the remaining three women. This scene is complex, as it is not an ideal ending of what we had hoped but portrays this as the right way for the women to escape, departing from earth. Furthermore, it assumes there is an afterlife, and that this life after life is preferable to the one they lived filled with pain, misunderstanding, and stress of escaping. Feminist scholar and film critic, Laura Muluey, spoke out against most films for containing a bias of a ‘male gaze'. She claimed that much of film viewed women actresses as sex objects that were objectified to be viewed as symbols rather than dynamic characters like the men. In Bandits we see that these women are strong independent and angry souls, containing much more complexity than their male counterparts. Additionally, we see a woman's gaze at the domestic abuse that took place in the film, since it is Emma who is seen as the victim rather than the man she killed. We see the pain that haunts her after losing her child due to being beaten by a man in her jazz band, and we see other women consoling her despite being angry and unapproachable themselves. Furthermore in Bandits Garnier portrays the women interested in sex "Angel" as a strong women to simply embracing her promiscuous sexuality and her not being dirty or wrong for doing so. Though the audience may not be able to identify the climax in Garnier's "Bandits", everyone who watches this stunning film can see a revolutionary way of constructing a story with women lead characters.

  • May 24, 2014

    Love this fun flick. Saw it at the movies in the late 90's and promptly purchased the DVD and soundtrack. It's entertaining, absurd, funny, sad and anything else in between. Very unlikely storyline but enjoyable to play along nonetheless.

    Love this fun flick. Saw it at the movies in the late 90's and promptly purchased the DVD and soundtrack. It's entertaining, absurd, funny, sad and anything else in between. Very unlikely storyline but enjoyable to play along nonetheless.

  • Jan 12, 2014

    A film with an incredibly off the wall concept, but it works.

    A film with an incredibly off the wall concept, but it works.

  • Sep 22, 2011

    The esoteric ending aside, this is a fun film that flips the finger in the direction of several societal institutions, including the music industry as it once was.

    The esoteric ending aside, this is a fun film that flips the finger in the direction of several societal institutions, including the music industry as it once was.

  • Oct 09, 2010

    I think I was about 13 when I first watch this movie. It's been 10 years, but it's still good, and the songs still just amazing. I think German films before this were dark, heavy and slow, but after this film, most of them shifted into fat paced comedies, like Soul Kitchen or Knocking on Heaven's Door, or Goodbye Lenin!. Of course, there are many film amazing even though it's slow, like Four Minutes Jasmin stared, but I like these kind better.

    I think I was about 13 when I first watch this movie. It's been 10 years, but it's still good, and the songs still just amazing. I think German films before this were dark, heavy and slow, but after this film, most of them shifted into fat paced comedies, like Soul Kitchen or Knocking on Heaven's Door, or Goodbye Lenin!. Of course, there are many film amazing even though it's slow, like Four Minutes Jasmin stared, but I like these kind better.

  • May 14, 2010

    It's just another Woman's Prison Band Movie like that one with what's her face...lol. I give this movie a high rating because it's been a few years and I still think of it... It's in subtitles though.

    It's just another Woman's Prison Band Movie like that one with what's her face...lol. I give this movie a high rating because it's been a few years and I still think of it... It's in subtitles though.

  • May 10, 2010

    there's something juicy this movie can offer. the story is not quite common.

    there's something juicy this movie can offer. the story is not quite common.

  • May 10, 2010

    "BANDITS" is a german movie produced by Katja von Garnier. It is a adventurous escape from the jail and the German police with really well-played characters, played by Katja Riemann, Jasmin Tabatabai and Nicollette Krebitz. Female power over running whole Germany with their music. Although there are some weaknesses, it is a nice movie that gives a good-feeling for every woman. I absolutely recommend this movie. "Medicine that pushes female power"!

    "BANDITS" is a german movie produced by Katja von Garnier. It is a adventurous escape from the jail and the German police with really well-played characters, played by Katja Riemann, Jasmin Tabatabai and Nicollette Krebitz. Female power over running whole Germany with their music. Although there are some weaknesses, it is a nice movie that gives a good-feeling for every woman. I absolutely recommend this movie. "Medicine that pushes female power"!

  • Feb 12, 2010

    (First and only full viewing - 10/20/2008)

    (First and only full viewing - 10/20/2008)

  • Dec 08, 2008

    One of the few positive german movies out there.

    One of the few positive german movies out there.