The Baader Meinhof Complex (Germany 2008, 150 min, dir Uli Edel, cast: Martina Gedeck, Moritz Bleibtreu, Johanna Wokalek).
Well-educated twenty-something Americans suddenly become Al Qaeda and Pakistani terrorists. Go back to 1967, substitute German names, and you have Baader-Meinhof. The pressure to preserve wealth and power always creates outliers.
Ulrike Meinhof was a journalist. She was married with two children. Her generation grew up in the shadow of Hitler and could not understand how Germany would consort with dictators and support the United States in Vietnam. If the Nazi era was supposed to never be forgotten, what was the lesson?
Benno Ohnesorg was killed in 1967 in a Berlin riot protesting the brutality of the Shah of Iran. We know today that the policeman who killed him was actually an agent for the Stasi, the East German secret police. But no one would know that for 40 years, and it still isn’t clear whether Karl-Heinz Kurras pulled the trigger because he was instructed to escalate the demonstration by his Stasi handlers.
But this act, the Kent State of Germany (the Kent State killings were in 1970) was proof that no justice would ever be achieved, and that only terrorism and violence would purify a western society corrupted by capitalism. Sound familiar? If we were not so afraid to actually hear what the current wave of terrorists have to say, maybe it would sound similar.
And let’s not forget that Islam has always been a religion of profound intellectualism. Isn’t it strange we believe all the young Islamic terrorists are being corrupted by deceitful mullahs? Isn’t it odd that some of the best and the brightest of a new generation are planting the bombs? The press remains incurious. To get press attention it helps to have a catchy name with “bad” coupled with a word that sounds like Mein Kampf (Hitler’s best-seller). The exploits of the Baader-Meinhof gang with its Bonnie and Clyde overtones were great for tabloid journalism.
The Baader Meinhof Complex is about how terrorism starts, why it starts, and how it grows in every generation that is summoned to action by the affront of corrupted power. How it ends is another story; that too is covered in this long, detailed, and very important film. Know the past and know the future,or you are doomed to know only what those who own the present think you should know.
Watch for Martina Gedeck as Ulrike Meinhof. She plays Martha in Mostly Martha, also on MovieWithMe.com. Only here you get to see what’s underneath that chef’s uniform.Link to this Post: http://www.moviewithme.com/blog/archives/1180