Friday, 26 November 2010

The Baader-Meinhof Complex

The insignia of Red Army Faction showing a red star and an MP5
It wasn’t just about killing Americans, and killing pigs, at least not at first. It was about attacking the illegitimate state that these pawns served. It was about scraping the bucolic soil and exposing the fascist, Nazi-tainted bedrock that the modern West German state was propped upon. It was about war on the forces of reaction. It was about Revolution. From the introduction to Richard Huffman’s book ‘The Gun Speaks – The Baader-Meinhoff Gang at the Dawn of Terror’

After watching Carlos the Jackal (2010) I thought it was the right time to revisit The Baader Meinhof Complex (2008) it relates the story of the group that would become the most prominent revolutionary movement in post war West Germany The Red Army Faction. Based on a book of the same name by Stefan Aust the film concentrates from its beginnings in 1967, the early years of the German student movement, up to the Stammheim prison suicides in 1977. Directed by Uli Edel and starring Moritz Bleibtreu as Andreas Baader, Martina Gedeck as Ulrike Meinhoff and Johanna Wokalek as Gudrun Ensslin plus a great supporting cast that includes Alexandra Maria Lara and Bruno Ganz. This fascinating movie tells the thrilling story of a segment of German history all be it brutal and somewhat bloodthirsty. As a film it’s a great piece of action drama, as an historical record it’s fascinating and does seem to ring true, like Carlos it would appeal to anyone with the slightest interest in modern European history.

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