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 »
For a split second during the bombing of an American military HQ in Frankfurt, a soldier is seen bleeding profusely on a poster for The Dictator's album, Manifest Destiny. This bombing took place in 1972, while Manifest Destiny was released in 1977, and The Dictators didn't even form until 1973. 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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