The Baader Meinhof Complex (Der Baader Meinhof Komplex in German)
Not the police, but those in political power must change the conditions that lead to a rise in terrorism.
If you throw one stone, it’s a punishable offense. If 1,000 stones are thrown, it’s political action. If you set a car on fire, it’s a punishable offense. If hundreds of cars are set on fire, it’s political action. Protest is when I say I don’t agree with something. Resistance is when I ensure that things with which I disagree no longer take place
I just recently watched the german film “The Baader Meinhof Complex” which gives the account of the early years of the West German far-left extremist group, the Red Army Faction. It depicts the personal accounts of the 4 founders of the organization as well as how one in particular turned from an observing journalist to an active member in terrorist subversive action.
The film is amazing. If you are interested in leftist movements from the 60’s in 70’s, or an analytical assessment of the roots of terrorism, watch this movie. It is actionny and worth the two hours (if you aren’t terribly busy). The characters are complex individuals who are cast in such a light that represents their good and bad qualities. The eccentricism combined with romanticism and good intentions as epic. (Also there are some pretty hot women too.) To semi-quote one review, the lines between what is criminal, terrorism, and revolutionary, resistance are blurred in an appropriate fashion to show the nature that I think is applicable to a lot of Cold War political situations.
The film captures the situational importance of these historical events magically by connecting the middle and end of the 20th century perfectly. The member of the RAF often times view their actions against authority as taking up the task the older generation failed to do during the Third Reich. Elder members of society stood by while millions were exterminated by the government, and now the actions by the RAF were justified because they could not stand by again while more people died in Vietnam and the Middle East. It also has a striking connection to the modern war on terror. The roots of today’s terrorist organizations I’m sure could be found within this film (references are made throughout to the liberation of Palestine), and it also shows that terrorism isn’t always mindless violence, but a political action, whether we choose to recognize that political action has consequences on either side.
Overall a great foreign film and very thought provoking.