For two weeks, 20 male participants are hired to play prisoners and guards in a prison. The "prisoners" have to follow seemingly mild rules, and the "guards" are told to retain order without using physical violence.
Germany in the 1970s: Murderous bomb attacks, the threat of terrorism and the fear of the enemy inside are rocking the very foundations of the yet fragile German democracy. The radicalised children of the Nazi generation lead by Andreas Baader, Ulrike Meinhof and Gudrun Ensslin are fighting a violent war against what they perceive as the new face of fascism: American imperialism supported by the German establishment, many of whom have a Nazi past. Their aim is to create a more human society but by employing inhuman means they not only spread terror and bloodshed, they also lose their own humanity. The man who understands them is also their hunter: the head of the German police force Horst Herold. And while he succeeds in his relentless pursuit of the young terrorists, he knows he's only dealing with the tip of the iceberg. Written by
Germany's official submission to the Best Foreign Language Film Category of the 81st Annual Academy Awards (2009). See more »
The FEG P9R pistol used by Petra Schelm wasn't invented until ten years after she was killed. See more »
If you throw a stone, it's a crime. If a thousand stones are thrown, that's political. If you set fire to a car it's a crime; if a hundred cars are set on fire that's political.
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never could a movie dealing with the RAF reach a high average vote and lead to a general approval. It simply depends on the different emotions according to this topic. Don't forget that some 35 years ago there existed an unbelievable high support among young people for the terroristic organization whereas the majority looked with disgust at the murderers.
So watching this movie is simply not more than a check whether the director catches the already existing attitude towards this controversial topic. In my eyes, the optimal way to direct this movie would have to treat it like a partly documentary with many original television scenes connected with the presentation of the characters. What I was interested in was whether this movie is able to place the viewer inside the plot, whether one could feel the atmosphere of this extreme period of German history and whether the presented scenes are consistent with the documents one had seen in television reports before. The movie has definitely come up to my expectations. The characters are just brilliant. It is some of the best German work of acting I have ever seen, every single scenes is so consistent with the picture one has in mind. Almost nothing stays from the line of the real development. The only thing I criticize is the selection of scenes. Maybe, the killers are given to much space to call out their misplaced ideology but neither is their behavior justified nor is any sympathy given to them. There doesn't exist any scope for interpretation about who was right and who was wrong. Furthermore, a few more words could have been given to the victims of the RAF whose assassinations are presented very precisely.
All in all, it is a shocking but good movie.
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