Wednesday, August 25, 2010

The Baader Meinhof Complex

Though not directly explained in the film, I think the Baader Meinhoff Complex refers to the different takes of RAF gang members Andreas Baader and Ulrike Meinhoff, as well as the notion that the children of the German World War II Generation had to rebel against the actions and politics of their parents, but couldn’t resist the use of extremism is their cause. It tells the story of the left wing Red Army Faction in Germany in the 1970s from the viewpoints of the gang’s leaders (lovers Baader and Gudrun Ensslin, and journalist Meinhof) as well as a police head (played by the great Bruno Ganz) who tries to understand the gang motives. The RAF isn’t The Barrow Gang or The Whole In The Wall Gang, and are portrayed as pathetic terrorists who generate no sympathy from the audience. The film is an intriguing, if overlong and overstuffed film about a group that captivated and terrorized Germany in the 1970s, which is also a subject that many, at least in this country, are unfamiliar with today.