Nov. 12th, 2008

vampyresheep: (Default)

Now I have had the whole day to contemplate the film Baader Meinhof Complex, I can now feel more able to comment on it.
For those younger folk like me ;-) who may not remember much of the news about it in the 70's, this film is pretty much a faithful retelling (as far as I can tell at least!) of the history and build-up of the Red Army Faction, a terrorist group in Germany in the 70's.

The depiction of the terrorist activities and violence is brutally in your face pretty much throughout the film, starting with a painfully graphic and drawn out reconstruction of riots in Berlin in 1967 when students protested about the visit of the Shah of Iran, to the extent that mid-way through the film, one pretty much becomes desensitised by it all.

A very large cast, featuring much of Germany's current up and coming actors, excellently portrayed the roles however the film was made in such a to the point way, you had no real sympathy towards any of them.  Although it was interesting to see how these young, innocent looking people could become such cold-blooded killers yet still pretty much have a hero status amongst the general public.

Despite the glossy, big budget film trailer and the fact that I did have to keep reminding myself that this was not Hollywood fiction (many moments in the film reminding me of Fight Club), the film went into such minute detail and depicted in such a cold manner that IMO it does not go out to glamorise their actions or take any side, just telling the story instead.

After 2 and a half hours in very uncomfortable seats (and a bloke smelling of Olbas Oil sitting next to me!) Rob and I came out not really knowing what to make of it.  One couldn't really say it was an enjoyable experience.  However, thoughts of the events that unfolded have stayed in my mind and I have spent much of today browsing the internet to find out more about the history - for me, that is the sign of a good film, if it stays in your mind for longer than the journey home.

Surprisingly, it does have quite a wide cinema release; the only reason we went to the special preview last night was that I wasn't expecting to get another chance to see it.  So I would recommend it to anyone who has an interest in hard-going historical drama and the stamina to sit in a cinema for 2.5 hours!

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