Monday, May 3, 2010

Der Baader Meinhof Komplex (The Baader Meinhof Complex)

I don't have a lot of patience for the radicals of the 1960s and 1970s.  So they opposed the war in Viet Nam, rebelled against what they viewed as repressive cultural norms, and experimented with drugs.  Congratulations.  Maybe they were right about the war, maybe some cultural norms need to challenged, and maybe illicit drugs aren't any worse than alcohol (and maybe they are).   Der Baader Meinhof Komplex covers this period in German history, specifically the activities of the Red Army Faction (RAF).  

They start by protesting the German support of the Iranian government.  A vocal yet peaceful demonstration turns violent when the supporters of the Iranians, with the full support and participation of the German police, attack the protesters, leaving at least one dead.  I can certainly join the protesters in their displeasure.  But they respond with fire bombing a department store, and, ultimately, the assassination of their political opponents.
Protesters flee the German police.

Der Baader Meinhof Komplex tells the  story of idealists with an arguably worthy cause letting their movement spiral out of control to the point where whatever ideals they started with become indefensible in light of their actions.  The movie's not bad, and I'm assuming it's fairly accurate.  Although it portrays the movement's founders in a positive, almost hagiographic light, it seems pretty fair otherwise.  The second and third generation of the movement are shown in their immaturity and tendency to overreact, and the government often seems reasonable and responsible in their treatment of the group.

Unless you are particularly interested in the history behind this movie, I wouldn't recommend it.

Bottom line, 2 stars.

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