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Children of the Revolution (2010)

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Inspired by the student revolutions of 1968, two women in Germany and Japan set out to plot world revolution as leaders of the Baader Meinhof Group and the Japanese Red Army. What were they fighting for and what have we learned?

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Cast

Cast overview:
Ulrike Meinhof ...
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Fusako Shigenobu ...
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May Shigenobu ...
Herself
Bettina Röhl ...
Herself
Masao Adachi ...
Himself
Astrid Proll ...
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Leila Khaled ...
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Bassam Abu Sharif ...
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Erika Runge ...
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Takaya Shiomi ...
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Kyoko Ohtani ...
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Jutta Lack-Strecker ...
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Storyline

CHILDREN OF THE REVOLUTION tells the stories of Ulrike Meinhof and Fusako Shigenobu - two women who emerged from the student revolutions of 1968 to become the leading female revolutionaries of their time. Appalled by the killing in Vietnam, they set out to destroy capitalist power through world revolution, as leaders of the Baader Meinhof Group and the Japanese Red Army. Both groups headed to the Middle East to train with Palestinian freedom fighters and attack imperialism. Authors and journalists Bettina Röhl and May Shigenobu explore the lives of their mothers, Ulrike and Fusako, providing a unique perspective on two of the most notorious "terrorists" in contemporary history. On the run or kidnapped when their mothers went underground, May and Bettina emerged from difficult childhoods to lead their own extraordinary lives. May is half-Japanese, half-Palestinian. She grew up in Lebanon and hid her identity for 28 years for fear of assassination. With capitalism once more in crisis ... Written by Transmission Films

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26 August 2011 (UK)  »

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User Reviews

 
"Interactively conversational and demystifying..."
17 August 2014 | by (Norway) – See all my reviews

Irish writer and documentary director Shane O'Sullivan's documentary feature which he produced, premiered at the International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam in 2010, was shot on locations in Japan and Germany and is a UK-Ireland co-production. It tells the story about a German Protestant Christian, journalist and co-founder of a West German underground organization called Red Army Faction (1970-1998) named Ulrike Meinhof (1934-1976), who was born in the interwar period in Oldenburg, Germany and during the German student movement in the late 1960s acquainted two militant activists named Gudrun Ensslin and Andreas Baader.

Distinctly and subtly directed by Irish filmmaker Shane O'Sullivan, this quietly paced documentary which is narrated from multiple viewpoints though mostly from the main interviewees' viewpoints, draws an informative and increasingly reflective portrayal of a Japanese author, guerrilla and founder and leader of a terrorist group called the Japanese Red Army (1971-2001) named Fusako Shigenobu who was born in the year that World War II ended in Tokyo, Japan. While notable for its atmospheric milieu depictions and reverent cinematography by cinematographers Bassem Fayad, Robin Probyn and Axel Schneppat, this narrative-driven story about radicalization leading to fanaticism and murder of both radicalized freedom fighters and civilians and how the lives of two daughters have been marred by the lives of their respectively militant and renowned mothers, depicts four interrelated studies of character and contains a great and timely score by composer Gilles Packham.

This historically biographical study from the early 2010s which is set in the late 20th and early 21st century in Germany and Japan and where a German daughter and journalist named Bettina Röhl and a Japanese daughter and journalist named May Shigenobu articulates their own and their parents' history with differing views on the political activism of their ancestors and their relation with them, is impelled and reinforced by its fragmented narrative structure, subtle continuity, diverse interviews and cinematic use of archival footage and photographs. An interactively conversational and demystifying documentary feature.


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