West Germany, early 1960s. Star crossed lovers Bern and Gudrun begin a life long affair in the stifling atmosphere of provincial Germany. Setting out to challenge the establishment they ...
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West Germany, early 1960s. Star crossed lovers Bern and Gudrun begin a life long affair in the stifling atmosphere of provincial Germany. Setting out to challenge the establishment they become part of the global uprising joining forces with leftist writers and political activists. By the late 60s Gudrun has joined the gang lead by Andreas Baader and Ulrike Meinhof and Bern risks his sanity to finally writing a novel to change the world. An emotional true story of an explosive era starring August Diehl (Inglourious Basterds (2009), A Hidden Life (2019), Salt (2010)).
Debates where ideas for extremism and terrorism might come from
This biographical film about the twin souls Bernward Vesper and Gudrun Enselin, the latter known from the terrorist groups Rote Arme Fraction and Baader-Meinhof, when she later on meets Andras Baader, gives a good explanation to what we might call deranged ideas.
The introduction is when young Bernward just after the war experiences his Nazi father killing his beloved cat because it eats a baby bird fallen den from a nest, explaining it with that a cat is not natural to the birds, and that cats are the Jews of th animal world. Then the film jumps to his time at the inversion, where it's obvious that he is torn between his fathers influence and radical ideas. He meets up with Gudrun, which is equally disturbed, and we follow their collaboration in a publishing if controversial writers, and further on towards terrorist ideas.
In between we get clips of news both from German politics as well as world politics with the Cuban crisis and killing of Kennedy and the Vietnam war, to place both the story in time and history, just done like in a couple of other well known German films. Though the quality if this clips are diverse, it helps in getting the history straight.
It's a good periodical piece, based in the early sixties, down to silly hairstyles. Th film is well played, but I struggled in liking any of the characters, which I find quite necessary to really make a movie like this hit me. I don't know if these persons was possible for other than parents to love, but it doesn't help the story. Maybe it's made that way, for us not to get sympathy with them. How Andreas Baader charmed Gudrun is more obvious here.
Either way, this difficulty in identifying with the main persons really doesn't work to make a masterpiece of a film. The result is only mildly interesting, and only if you like to study and debate the reason of radicalism and even terrorism, here in the basis of troubled thought around not really dealing with the Nazi movement.
Anyway, in today's society we struggle in understanding what makes "normal" people terrorists, and how to foresee and prevent these in developing. If you get an answer here I really don't know, and I still will find it difficult to understand the force to commit terrorist acts.
Well made, but you'll struggle in being engaged. Don't watch this when not ready. This is no action movie,but a slow moving drama with no climax. If you want action, see "The Baader Meihof complex" instead, which starts with the fire bombs in the shopping center, where there's more action. The best is to watch this first and the other after-wards, as complimentary movies.
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