Der Baader Meinhof Komplex (2008)

“Der Baader Meinhof Komplex” (2008)



The history of post-war West Germany is an important piece of a complex puzzle. The story of how the federal Republic invents and fights itself to the point of mere implosion is a good synthesis of many of the inner ideological conflicts that the Europe faces today. On the other hand, the radicalized views that we see on this film are the product of how west Germans dealt with the memory of its own (by than recent) history. It is a delicate matter, one that I find of extreme importance, how one nation reinvents itself when the certainties of the past are shame in the present, and nothing in the present clearly shows how you can look at yourself in the mirror as member of that nation. As a Portuguese born after the 16th century and after the colonial explosion of the 20th century, I know something about growing inside an ideologically disfigured nation.

With this in mind, what this film does is to reduce to essential terms the complex thing that we face: These uninteresting people, Baader, Meinhof and friends, stand for the disenchantment that even less radicalized Germans felt right than: Germany was after all emptied of all its might as a cultural nation, left to its own also valuable technological and material achievements. In its mad search for a superior nation, Hitler forced the Germanic world to a cultural suicide, the abrupt ending of a long road of artistic enrichment to all of us. Post war W.Germany literally bought its way out of the past, betting everything on living material quality. What is left are the wounds to scar, the disenchantment and desperation as a means to go on. When you mix that with extreme radical left wings politics, inserted in the minds of uninterested, you had just the kind of cocktail that would explode in the 70′.

So, Baader/Meinhof were the more wide spoken of a series of radicals of the sort. And they probably expressed just too intensely what other non politicized Germans by be feeling as well. They are uninteresting character, whose actions were ultimately unimportant the larger view of the things. Today they matter only as tokens to the conflicts that they addressed, which were real enough to cause true pain in the souls of the German. The resolution of these conflicts, raised by the suns of the war, would define what Germany today became. The fall of the Wall only extended this version of Germany to the other side. And the augmented weight that the Union has gained in all European countries extended That notion (mixed with some old- fashioned french politics) to the rest of the continent – the UK decided at an early stage to be out of the central European core.

I’m sure that much more can be said here fully directed to more specifically German themes. I’m out of that discussion.

It’s important to highlight how the Baader/Meinhof phenomenon is not isolated within Europe. Just a few days ago, ETA announced the end of its armed actions. That was probably the last living fossil of the mental revolution undergoing through Europe at this moment.

The merit of this film is that it allows for this and other comments, and reflexion on the theme. It reminds us of this, and that is important. As a film, it’s an ordinary experience.

My opinion: 3/5

This comment on IMDb


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