Tuesday, October 13, 2009

The Baader-Meinhof Complex

"You want to really, really taunt the grown-ups? Then say, when you have finished calling them Nazis, that their little Israeli friends are really Nazis, too. This always guarantees a hurt reaction and a lot of press."

UPDATE: J. Carter Wood, writing from environs abaft the Rhine, notes that the trailer may leave the impression of a film "heavy on retro-glamour and action and light on historical context, psychological complexity and moral judgement," but when he got around to seeing it, he was "pleased to discover a far better film" than he'd expected.

Wood points us to Andrew Hammel, who takes a properly dim view of the RAF and its legacy: "Having spent some time researching the group for a project, I came away feeling nothing but vague contempt, and complete mystification at the attention it still receives. Active RAF members fell, as near as I can tell, into two general groups: ruthless monomaniacs or deluded dupes. What united both camps was their second-rateness and insufferable pomposity. Their "manifestos" are dull and turgid; their personalities one-dimensional and unappealing. Once they began their RAF careers -- at the very latest -- most RAF cadres morphed into Godzillas of screechy self-righteous bitterness. Some former members, such as Horst Mahler, have gone downhill from there."

By that, he is referring to Mahler's attempt to rehabilitate himself by openly declaring allegiances and sentiments of the Nazi, Jew-hating variety.

Hammel also draw attention to Paul Hockenos' excellent Boston Review essay, "Left Behind: Romanticizing Germany's Urban Guerillas."


Blogger brian platt said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

9:07 PM  
Blogger vildechaye said...

One can only imagine what was in that particular deleted post....

12:30 AM  
Blogger Dave Zeglen said...

"It’s the best 1960s street-fighting footage ever staged"

I disagree. That would have to go to the depiction of the 1960 revolution in Pontecorvo's 'Battle of Algiers.'

What surprised me about 'Complex' is why the PFLP would bother to help the second generation RAF by hijacking a plane, considering how badly the RAF training went in Jordan several years prior.

4:21 AM  
Blogger Luke said...

Huge fan of this film. Easily one of the best I've seen all year. It's an amazing look at how modern terrorism develops

1:45 PM  

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