Germany in the 1970's: Murderous bomb attacks, the threat of terrorism and the fear of the enemy inside are rocking the foundations of the fragile German democracy. The radicalized children of the Nazi generation lead by Andreas Baader, Ulrike Meinhof and Gudrun Ensslin are fighting a violent war against what they perceive as the new face of fascism: American imperialism supported by the German establishment, many of whom have a Nazi past.Their aim is to create a more human society but by employing inhumane means they not only spread terror and bloodshed, they also lose their own humanity.
- Baader Meinhof Complex review by Jawbreaker
This is another intriguing German film, dealing with demons of the past, recently seen in The Wave and Downfall. Many today seem unaware of the Baader Meinhof terrorist group and their actions during the 70’s, this film will certainly put that straight, acting as a historical report of their origins and struggles. The group were a direct reaction to the right wing events in Germany history and the existing government, slowly implementing measures that were deemed by many to be a prologue to a police state. The production creates the feel and look of the 70’s with real aplomb. Being based on a book, which in itself was a complex report on the group, the transition to the silver screen in comparison is not as successful. I wonder if the decision to split the film into two episodes (as seen recently in Che) would have been far more beneficial. This would have allowed worthwhile focus on the original group, with different agendas and methods to the more violent and infamous splinter group. The running time is too long and tries to condense all the group activities and divisions into this one film. This comes at the expense of character depth and relationships, with the main players exclaiming their political agenda on a frequent basis. Baader Meinhof Complex is still a fascinating experience and the extras documentary provides a little more depth, with actors reflecting on their own memories of the turbulent period.