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Der Baader Meinhof Komplex
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The Baader Meinhof Complex (2008) More at IMDbPro »Der Baader Meinhof Komplex (original title)

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The Baader Meinhof Complex -- A look at Germany's terrorist group, The Red Army Faction (RAF), which organized bombings, robberies, kidnappings and assassinations in the late 1960s and '70s. Based on Stefan Aust's best-selling nonfiction book.

Overview

User Rating:
7.4/10   31,600 votes »
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Popularity: ?
Down 4% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Director:
Writers:
Bernd Eichinger (screenplay)
Uli Edel (screenplay)
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Contact:
View company contact information for The Baader Meinhof Complex on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
25 September 2008 (Germany) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
The children of the Nazi generation vowed fascism would never rule their world again.
Plot:
A look at Germany's terrorist group, The Red Army Faction (RAF), which organized bombings, robberies, kidnappings and assassinations in the late 1960s and '70s. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
Awards:
Nominated for Oscar. Another 4 wins & 20 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
Little more than a vanity project for Bernd Eichinger See more (110 total) »


Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Der Baader Meinhof Komplex" - Germany (original title)
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MPAA:
Rated R for strong bloody violence, disturbing images, sexual content, graphic nudity and language
Runtime:
150 min | 184 min (extended cut)
Color:
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:

Did You Know?

Trivia:
As an immediate reaction to the movie, Ignes Ponto, widow of Jürgen Ponto, whose assassination is portrayed in the movie, returned her Federal Cross of Merit. She was angry that the Federal Republic of Germany has never even created a memorial for victims of the RAF, but instead helped to finance films like this one about the members of the RAF. Also, she said, she had not been warned about the graphic portrayal of Ponto's assassination when she was invited to the movie premiere and felt humiliated by the producers for making her sit through this without a warning. About a month later, she filed a lawsuit against the producers, who claimed that every scene is historically accurate, because the assassination of her husband, which she had to witness from the next room, was not portrayed as it happened. She demands the scene of the murder of her husband be cut from the movie. The filmmakers claim that they had tried to contact her during production to get the scene right but she had no desire to cooperate. Before this movie, there had been no portrayal of Ponto's assassination on film and she felt the staging of the movie was lurid and dishonoring to her husband. As of this writing, no decision has been reached about the lawsuit.See more »
Goofs:
Continuity: Ulrike Meinhof's twin daughters Bettina and Regine first appear in the opening scene in 1967 when they are 9 years old. Yet 3 years later when living in Sicily and rescued by Stefan Aust, they haven't aged at all.See more »
Quotes:
Brigitte Mohnhaupt:Stop seeing them the way they weren't.See more »

152 out of 263 people found the following review useful.
Little more than a vanity project for Bernd Eichinger, 25 September 2008
Author: lual from Jena, Germany

Once every few years, Bernd Eichinger feels the need to prove to everybody that he has the biggest dick in the German film industry. In order to do this, he refrains from making cheap stupid international movies like "Resident Evil" and dumb German comedies and makes a big movie that he calls important. After "Der Untergang" and "Das Parfum" we now get "Der Baader-Meinhof Komplex".

One really wonders who this movie was made for. People who don't know anything about the RAF will not understand most of what is going on. People who know some stuff about this will only find the things that they already know and experts on the topic will be horrified about the simplifications and elisions.

The movie looks great, as it should be expected. It really looks like it is from the era. All technical aspects are wonderful, the cinematography, the action, sound, effects. And the actors do an incredible job. Martina Gedeck and Johanna Wokalek stand out in this universally good cast as Ulrike Meinhof and Gudrun Ensslin.

Also, to be fair, it has to be said, that the beginning of the movie is really gripping and well done. The viewer gets to understand a lot about the feeling of the time and the intentions of the protagonists are well-explained.

But the whole thing goes downhill after a while. By the time Ulrike Meinhof joins the group and Andreas Baader breaks out of prison, we lose focus. Suddenly there are new members in almost every scene and none of them gets introduced properly (with the exception of Peter-Jürgen Boock). Certainly, not every character needs a back story, but it would have been essential to tell the audience at least how these recruits got to join the group in general.

By the time that Meinhof, Baader and Ensslin are imprisoned, we really don't care about the RAF any more. And this is mainly because we have no idea who these "2nd generation" people are. Even people who know about the RAF will wonder who this or that guy in each scene is supposed to be because only few of them are even mentioned by name. The assassinations of von Mirbach, Buback and Ponto are just checked off a list to get the story to completion. And the whole Schleyer-kidnapping as well as the attack on the "Landshut" which are supposed to serve as the climax of the movie have terrible timing and leave out so much important information.

But also the handling of characters of the "1st generation" is done poorly in parts. Raspe is basically absent from the movie until he gets taken in by the police, same with Meins, whose only purpose in the movie it is to get captured, force-fed and then die. Only these three scenes. Nothing more is seen of him! Neither Eichinger nor Edel really cared to explain or teach anything. The whole thing was just planned as a big production to show off 2/3 of the more well-known actors working in Germany in one movie. Even the guy who attempts to assassinate Rudi Dutschke gets played by a well known actor (Tom Schilling). What this movie would have needed is the kind of epilogue that Eichinger put at the end of "der Untergang" to show what happened to some characters and also to even explain who these characters were supposed to be.

So, we only have one more chance to find out. Since the movie is filled with well-known actors, reading the credits might help. No chance here. Except for the main characters no character name is mentioned in the credits, only the actors who showed up. To me, this is the ultimate proof that Eichinger didn't care about the characters at all, all he cared about was the actors he could squish into this movie.

There are other things that others will criticize, for example the way the victims are turned just into cardboard figures with no purpose other than getting assassinated, or the fact that the German government, which was very involved especially in the final act, is not present at all. I personally do not mind these things too much, because I understand that this is not the story the makers wanted to tell.

I only criticize the movie for what it is. A nice-looking, but unfortunately very hollow and confusing piece of work. Too bad. It was a great chance that was missed here.

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