The Baader Meinhof Complex
Der Baader Meinhof Komplex depicts the political turmoil in the period from 1967 to the bloody "Deutschen Herbst" in 1977. The movie approaches the events based on Stefan Aust's standard work on Die Rote Armee Fraktion (RAF). The story centers on the leadership of the self named anti-fascist resistance to state violence: Andreas Baader, Ulrike Meinhof and Gudrun Ensslin.
Whilst the film has many positive elements from performances to cinematography the subject matter just feels far too big for one film. The Baader Meinhof Complex covers too much complicated history and focuses on too many individuals to really work as a single movie. The whole thing lacks cohesion and character development and shifts focus too many times meaning it ends up as a potted history of the group rather than a compelling study of the people at the heart of the Red Army Faction.
This could have been a stunning mini-series but trying to cover all its bases in only two and half hours was a huge mistake. Even Olivier Assayas’ Carlos suffered from this problem but that was…
If I was supposed to sympathize with any of the characters in this film, then I am definitely not the target audience for 'The Baader Meinhof Complex' since the only guy I cared for was Bruno Ganz's Horst Herold. He seemed to be the only individual in the whole film that used his brain.
If I was supposed to be interested in the complex reasons behind the creation, operation and implications of the RAF, then the movie failed me. Everything happened so fast, without even a split second to let either me or the characters to breathe and reflect on what was happening. The focus of the…
This is a bit of an odd beast.
It is a historical thriller that wants to give an objective representation of the historical occurrences around the Baader Meinhoff complex, yet also cast it in the mold of a stylized and tense thriller. And while it only partially succeeds in the first aspect, it more than succeeds in the latter.
If you're looking for an exploration of the motivations of this group of terrorists, look elsewhere. This film doesn't concern itself with that, they almost seem afraid to touch upon the deeper reasonings. They furthermore tend to glorify the lifestyle of the two protagonists a bit too much, slightly favouring them in their objective account. What we do get is a…
When I found out this was going to be in the Letterboxd Festival, I was so excited! I saw it years ago for my European Cinema class in college and fell in love with it from the opening scene. This time, I was a little less enthralled, but I still enjoyed it. It's a heavy film that tends to overwhelm the audience with detail, but the details are so interesting I didn't care most of the time. I feel like the first half is much more compelling than the second half, when the narrative shifts pretty abruptly from the birth of a movement to its decline. I'm not sure both sides of the story needed equal attention, but I can't…
'The Baader Meinhof Complex' is about as close as German cinema has got to fully emulating Hollywood, and the film carries both the positives and negatives that such a stature can bring. With a bumper all-star German cast, representing almost every major film to come out of the nation in the past decade - from 'Lola Rennt' (Moritz Bleibtreu) to 'Das Leben der Anderen' (Martina Gedeck) - 'Baader Meinhof' appears a lot more promising on paper than its realisation demonstrates.
Despite my education and interest in German and Germany, I was totally ignorant of this film's story, and so I can obviously not comment on how biased or truthful this film is in its…
I am starting to believe that it is next to impossible to make a great film about terrorists (Paradise Now excepted). Just once I would like to see a film in which all the characters in the theatre of terrorism are given the benefit of the doubt and shown to be reasonable players in a social conflict.
Der Baader Meinhof Complex isn't it. Much like Carlos, Baader, the leader of the terrorist group is painted as a volatile aggressive irresponsible man who flies off the handle and goes too far. Perhaps it is the nature of the beast, I don't know, but it would be interesting to let the audience in on why…
The Baader Meinhof Complex is a very good film, but it simply doesn't go into enough depth. It would've been a far more rewarding experience if the group's beginnings had been explored as well as their motivations for becoming extremists.
However, the anecdotes from the Red Army Faction story that have been chosen amount to very engaging viewing. The film quickly turns into a bloodbath, which is probably to the film's advantage in this instance.
Exceptionally well made docudrama (the attention to period detail is outstanding) about the RAF and their terrorist activities in the 70s. The actors are all superb and at times hauntingly similar to their real life counterpart. It's too bad that we never really learn why they go down the path they've chosen, we only see the journey itself. Still worth your attention but it does require that you know some of the history beforehand
Der Baader Meinhof Komplex
As a child I was aware of the Baader-Meinhof gang, but was never sure of exactly what they did, or why. This film is an account of the Red Army Faction's activities (although I'm not sure that activity is quite the right word for what this ultra-left-wing anti-fascist murderous gang did), which was extremely interesting, even if I still don't really understand the 'why?' of what they did.
For a film to be 2 and a half hours long you really need it to be engaging to really keep your attention all the way through. Sadly I didn't think this film was consistently good enough to serve this purpose. I was also left slightly disappointed that some historical moments seemed to be skated over. Perhaps this would have been better served as a TV mini series where they could have given the time and effort to the story and explored things in more detail. This would also help break up the running time a bit. Still all being said and done this is still an interesting film and probably worth a watch, even if you break it up to a couple of viewings.
In the last decade or so there have been a lot of films about historical events that are little more than meticulously period recreations. A lot of them are European. The earliest I remember is Man in the Moon about Andy Kauffman. While they seem to get the events and details right, they all suffer from the same problems - impenetrable lead characters. The movies never show us what makes the characters tick, and it's impossible to like, dislike, or feel anything for them. Bringing history to life requires more then set dressings, costumes, and lens filters. Baader Meinhof Complex is an excellent example of this mini-genre, capturing what is essentially a German terrorist group protesting Vietnam (and basically all…
Joins that elite group of truly intelligent, unapologetic films dealing with both the roots and tragic consequences of terrorism like The Battle of Algiers or A Mighty Heart. The best of these movies don't seek to judge in terms of good or evil but to inspire honest, hardball debate about the subject while still delivering a pretty damn exhilerating moviegoing experience at the same time. And on both fronts, director Uli Edel succeeds, painting the grim portrait of postwar Germany and the rise of the Red Army Faction with an impressive attention to detail and suitably shocking scenes of violence. It all comes together to make the ultimate point on the fallacy of terrorism as a tactic in achieving some…
The Count's Verdict: Breathtaking historical crime-thriller which provides a tour-de-force in charting the personal and political events of a story which spans a decade, without sacrificing the disparate international social context in which it takes place. Production design is immaculate in evoking the late sixties, early seventies setting, ditto the choice of songs and in Moritz Bleibtreu and Johanna Wokalek, the film is anchored by two outstanding performances. Undoubtedly, one the best films of 2008.
So Olivier Assayas was like, "I could do this so much better"