Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Baader Meinhof Complex

Last night I went to see the Baader Meinhof Complex, an amazing film about the West German terrorist group the Red Army Faction (RAF). 

The film chronicles the The Red Army Faction's operations, which escalated from student demonstrations against the government to a national crisis in 1977 that became known as 'German Autumn'. The group was responsible for bombings of many government buildings and US military bases, bank robberies, as well as assassinations. They also highjacked a Lufthansa plane, and took hostages at the West German Embassy in Stockholm - and that was just the 70's. They certainly fit in a lot of killing in that decade, and also in the 150 minutes of the film.

Many recent German films like Sophie Scholl - The Final Days, Downfall, The Counterfitters, and The Lives of Others, document the oppression faced by German people as a result of the state controlling every aspect of their life. This film does as well, but in a more contemporary sense. It documents a modern part of German history that is often largely overshadowed by the war and it's aftermath, and in doing illustrates how a group like the RAF can form as a monumental reaction to all those years of distrust. Doesn't mean it is right, but it certainly makes for interesting viewing. 

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