No, Uli Edel‘s The Baader Meinhof Complex doesn’t romanticize terrorism, as the Guardian‘s David Cox seems to believe. It’s angry and provocative, yes, and very well made, but not all that sexy. Not in a way that got me going, at least, as I explained in 9.30.08 review.
I called it “a strong but bleak account of the impassioned but self-destructive insanity that took hold among radical lefties in the late ’60s and ’70s, and which manifested with a particular ferocity and flamboyance among the Baader-Meinhoffers. [It] mainly sinks in as a revisiting of a time in which a small but dead-serious sector of the left-liberal community temporarily lost its bearings and in some cases jumped off a cliff in order to stop what they saw as a form of absolute establishment evil.
“I’m glad I saw it, I’m glad it was made, I respect and admire the contributions of everyone on the team (Edel, producer-co-writer Bernd Eichinger, exec producer Martin Moszkovicz and cast members Martina Gedeck, Moritz Bleibtreu, Johanna Wokalek, Bruno Ganz, Nadja Uhl, Jan Josef Liefers, Stipe Erceg, Niels Bruno Schmidt, Vinzenz Kiefer, Alexandra Maria Lara), and I’m glad it’s doing well commercially in Germany and elsewhere.
“But The Baader Meinhof Complex is a gripping but awfully strange and even weird story about some very extreme, go-for-broke people who didn’t know when (or how) to chill out and seemed, in the final analysis, to be more than a little in love with death.”