Friday, November 14, 2008

The Baader Meinhof Complex

I have had a taste for German film ever since I saw "Run Lola Run", so I was looking forward to this film in quiet anticipation.

Having thoroughly enjoyed Uli Edel's previous film "Downfall", I was expecting a dose of the same bleak, yet personal film-making. There was bleak aplenty, however, one never truly feels like one understands the passions and beliefs that drive the members of the Baader-Meinhof group (part of the Red Army Faction).

However, all is not lost. deeper exploration of the group psyche gives way to a faithful and expansive re-telling of the events that shook Germany throughout the 1970's. Indeed, I haven't seen a film exhibiting attention to detail on this scale since "Zodiac".

So what we are left with is a sporadically violent, episodic trip through the paisley clad West Germany of the 70's. Many people - authority figure or not- are riddled with bullets and although we never find out what motivates any of the characters on a deeply personal level, it is made plain that although the film follows a specific group of "commandos", we should not focus on them, but rather on the politics that fascinated and terrified the globe in equal measure.

I have tried not to give too much away about the film (even if you have read the book on which it is based), I want you to experience it for yourself. Try not to get inside the mind of a terrorist, it is much more interesting to put oneself into the same situations. You may be scared by what you start to believe.