The 1st half is quite exuberant in its leftist political activism that truly feels as young and spirited as its subject. Sure, there's caricatured characterization and the dialogue is sloganeering, but it's genuine to the romanticized notions that lead any ideology down the path of terrorism. The 2nd half is darker, asking: Does the end justify the means? Sure, but what end is vindicated for the means to be violent?
Multiple problems, not least the blah action-movie score/editing, but there are glimpses of the film that might have been in the oft-superb and '70s-apt cinematography and performances in particular by Gedeck and Wokalek. The salient artistic captures of the complicated, compelling phenomenon of the title remain DIE DRITTE GENERATION and this musical masterpiece: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baader_Meinhof_(album)
1-2. That the movie is shot well is the best thing I can say about it. It's so crowded that the more vital details like context and motivation generally don't have room to emerge. It's so busy trying to allude to as many beats of the RAF's story as it can that most beats aren't fully fleshed out. The RAF and their philosophy are rendered shallowly and abjectly, and the colors are boring neutral blues and beiges.
a film informs so little (to me) despite describing so much. violence inciting violence, people act without reason, hothead revolutionaries, potential misrepresentations and inaccuracies... it's Giulia from best of our youth all over again, with kids. always thought China lost a decade b/c cultural revolution, but turns out idiot youngsters wasted their life in the 60s all over the world. "this is our program!"
Although a fascinating subject, this film suffers from the overabundance of material. Perhaps focusing on fewer moments from the history of the RAF would have made it more compelling. Then again, Burning Bush had a more concise topic and was spread over nearly 4 hours yet captivated me more. Parts of it were very well done.
2-2.5 This was overly long and highly glamorized, though I am not familiar with the actual events. The casting was poor, as many of the young men were dark, handsome, and difficult to tell apart. While I was glad to learn about the RAF, the script felt like it was sanitized from both the RAF & government perspectives. I must do some reading of primary sources. Wish this had the brilliance of Holland's "Burning Bush."
Produced by Germany's man for the big screen, Bernd Eichinger, this film is, albeit suspense- and action-packed, surprisingly complex and subtle. Above all, the timeline of events, from the murder of Ohnesorg to the "Stammheim night" are depicted in meticulous detail with a strong focus on the motivations of and relations between the RAF members, and in particular Baader, Ensslin and Meinhof. --> [...]
(half a star .5) I actually shut down right away when this film displays child pornography in the first few minutes. Call it story-related if you want, but it's not and there's no good reason or excuse for it. Done. After that, it's just the same old political bullshit you've seen better in numerous other films. This one was boring and unnecessary.
Slick but absolutely a failure. As the Bruno Ganz character says, we need to understand the terrorists. The film doesn't. Even Spielberg's Munich shows both sides better than this. I never believed Meinhof would join them. I never cared one ounce if any of them were shot. I never saw worth in their cause. The filmmakers failed to show these terrorists as anything but whiny, dillusional, violent children. Bad film.
This seems to be a controversial film among people who are familiar with this period in German history. Starts off sympathetic to the radicals' cause but quickly switches gears to depict them as monsters. I would have preferred it if the film had just concentrated on telling the story of how these people went from peaceful to radical. That's the most interesting part of this story to me. Very good movie anyway.
A very sad example for the decline of German cinema. The director shows almost no ability to tell a story, it’s a hopeless sequence of single scenes without feelings for dramaturgy, augmented by fragments of news reel to pretend a true picture of the events. Some of the actors are horrible and not capable to communicate with others using their body language ... (read on in the commentaries)
I think there's a certain age where all this makes sense. I remember reading about this group in Der Spiegel in college and romanticizing the notion. At that age you have no sense of patience, and the end justifies the means. They weren't wrong about the problems of US Imperialism or police states. The United States has been heading that way for a while. Thank goodness we've been narcotized by TV and films.