Nov 18

The Baader Meinhof Complex (2008) ★★★★

This film is in German with English subtitles and attempts to re-create the story of the Red Army Faction, a militant group in the ’70’s through 1990’s. They had engaged in the bombing of a number of buildings, most notably the newspaper Bild building, as well as the assasination of a number of prominent political figures and police. The film is fairly well done, with fast action, considerable amount of violence, some exposed flesh, and some obscene language (though in German), making it perhaps not good to view with small children. The film presents many questions in the mind of the viewer, including the proper balance of freedom (anarchy) and law (police state). It also questions the treatment of criminals. In this situation, many of the RAF were able to continue their reign of terror even when behind bars. Politicians were nervous about being harsh on the violent criminals because of the presence of an odd, small, highly vocal, mostly consisting of students and lawyers, group holding a sentiment in support of the RAF. Throughout the film, it was difficult to hold pity for the RAF members, especially with their immature and extremist behavior. Yet, it was public support for them that maintained their criminal activity for so long. The film is very thought provoking and well worth watching. It should provoke some good discussions with my German friends.

 

 

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