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
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 »
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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I went to see this movie without any knowledge of the RAF. I wasen't even born when the RAF was active. Still I could follow the story of the movie because, even though some figures are vague and get no introduction, the most important story lines are explained.
The movie follows the beginning, top and ending of the first RAF-members; Andreas Baader and Ulrike Meinhof in particular. The rest of the group doesen't get the big introduction Ulrike got but with so many interesting characters the film would get even longer then its 2.5 hours.
That is inmediatly the biggest problem with the film; it's length. Because of the variety of events and characters, Der Baader-Meinhof complex never gets boring, but at some point in the movie you start to get irritated by the new events. It would be more wisely if the director had chosen to make a sequel, sothat the second RAF-members get the attention they deserve.
So why 8 out of 10 stars? Simple, as an action-movie this is brilliant. The story is good and the movie doesen't tell more than it has to. The biggest achievement however is in my point of view the political statement. It doesen't make it. Der Baader-Meinhof complex tells the story of the RAF, but never approves the actions of the group, but also doesen't disapprove them. And that is a great achievement.
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