70’s were a decade marked by protests and political unrest throughout the world. But very few cities witnessed the kind of spontaneous and violent uprisings that happened on the streets of Calcutta and West Berlin. Like the Naxalite movement in Calcutta, the one in Berlin, too, had the intoxicating Leftist doctrines of Mao and Che Guevara as its basis, started principally as a student movement against ‘American Imperialism’, rapidly took the form of urban guerrilla warfare, and was met with an iron fist (with police action, at times, being hard to distinguish from those of the 'terrorists'). Der Baader Meinhof Komplex, based on the spectacular rise and fall of the notorious Red Army Faction (RAF), is a detailed and energetic chronicling of this dark time in German history. Though the runtime could have been reduced, especially in the last third of the movie, it hardly matters much thanks to the kinetic screenplay, thumping soundtrack, and for being a colourful and engrossing representation of the zeitgeist of the turbulent times. The volatile Moritz Bleibtreu and the beautiful Martina Gedeck, two of German cinema’s most recognized faces, have given terrific performances as two of the key players of the radical group. The director’s assured depiction of the array of events, without ever taking sides, has made for engaging viewing and a fine historical account, at the same time. And the moral ambiguity in its fatalistic ending has ensured a long after life for the movie.
Director: Uli Edel Genre: Thriller/Political Thriller/Docu-fiction/Epic Language: German Country: Germany