Baader Meinhof Complex ignites history (1)
Explosions and bullet wounds punctuate The Baader Meinhof Complex's history lesson. Germanys Oscar-nominated docudrama breathlessly depicts the impassioned leadership and terrorist acts of the eponymous gang of urban guerillas, also known as the Red Army Faction, or RAF. Director Uli Edels two-and-a-half hour epic moves at such a rapid pace that individuals and their stories can become a blur. The Baader Meinhof Complex features thrilling re-enactments of terrorist activities and an intriguing perspective on the life of an "anti-imperialist" extremist group.
The plot's strongest throughline recounts the radicalization of leftist journalist Ulrike Meinhof (Martina Gedeck), who turns from wife, mother and middle-class pundit to an accomplice and mouthpiece of a band of thieving fugitives. Alpha-male arsonist Andreas Baader (Run Lola Runs Moritz Bleibtreu) exudes Brando-esque charisma despite his thuggish behavior. Meinhof, like the audience, focuses on Baaders girlfriend Gudrun Ensslin (Johanna Wokalek), whose raw sexuality goes a long way to sell her anti-establishment beliefs. In one scene, Gudrun welcomes a young recruit to the group by inviting him to share her bathtub. Gudruns example inspires Meinhof to take action beyond words, but their friendship frays during a prison stint in the films second half.
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(Photo courtesy 2008 Constantin Film Verleih GmbH)