Movie of the Week: Baader Meinhof Complex



With events in Egypt going on now, this true story begins in Berlin in the late 60s where demonstrators protesting the arrival of Iran's Shah get sabotaged and beaten by some pro regime protestors. This plants the seed for a white terrorist revolution.

Much like the Weather Underground in the US, children of the WW2 Generation in Germany see the potential of a "new fascism" growing from the west and decide to begin an urban guerilla campaign to prevent another Nazi situation politically. Unlike the weather underground who blew up a few buildings here and there and lived to get pardoned, the RAF were actual hard core terrorists who eventually imploded and help give birth to global terrorism. Things did not end up well for them.

It's fascinating, riveting and action packed and tense as hell, and frightening as it cuts between the guerillas discussing new ways to get their point across with the government officials devising new methods to stop them, essentially creating a "data mining" system that keeps tabs on regular citizens. Often we are lead to believe terrorists are ethnic and brown skinned, but these guys looked like what you see on billboards and magazines and TV shows. The actors purposefully dress and pose like rock stars much like the real people involved. They were young idealists who thought they would change the world, and soon realized they were in over their heads and inadvertantly set the tone for what we have today. Great script, great photography and breakneck editing. It does a nice job of contrasting the excitement of being on the run with the cold harsh reality of one's actions which many films lack.  
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