The next film is a collage of semi-documentary scenes from the New German Cinema’s most respected directors who added their voices to the notorious Baader Meinhof Group or Red Army Faction as they called themselves. It comments on the events in the autumn month of 1977 capturing the emotions of the hostage drama in Mogadishu, the Stammheim Prison and the murder of prominent industrialist Hanns-Martin Schleyer
(1978, 119 min, directed by Alexander Kluge, Volker Schlöndorff, Rainer Werner Fassbinder, Edgar Reitz and others, starring Hannelore Hoger, Helmut Griem, Vadim Glowna, Angela Winkler, Heinz Bennent, Mario Adorf, ENGLISH SUBTITLES)
TIME: 5.00 p.m.
VENUE: Howard College, MTB West Wing 1st Floor. German Programme, Media Room F251
About the film:
Germany in Autumn does not have a plot per se; it mixes documentary footage, along with standard movie scenes, to give the audience the mood of Germany during the late 1970s. The movie covers the two month time period during 1977 when a businessman was kidnapped, and later murdered, by the left-wing terrorists known as the RAF-Rote Armee Fraktion (Red Army Faction). The businessman had been kidnapped in an effort to secure the release of the orginal leaders of the RAF, also known as the Baader-Meinhof gang. When the kidnapping effort and a plane hijacking effort failed, the three most prominent leaders of the RAF, Andreas Baader, Gudrun Enslin, and Jean-Carl Raspe, all committed suicide in prison. It has become an article of faith within the left-wing community that these three were actually murdered by the state. The movie has several vignettes, including an extended set of scenes with the famous director Rainer Werner Fassbinder discussing his feelings about Germany’s political situation at the time. Fassbinder’s scenes almost seem to be candid documentary footage, but aren’t. Other scenes include documentary footage of the joint funeral of Baader, Enslin, and Raspe.(

This film is a blend of documentary, fictional dramatic vignettes and archival historical footage. On the surface, it involves how intellectuals, media, and other elites reacted to the political terrorism brought about by the Red Army Faction (RAF)in Germany during the late 1970s. It touches also on why the RAF elicited sympathy from sections of society. The film espouses no political or economic philosophy. The gifted directors who collaborated on this word shed light on the workings or society and its institutions without, even subtly, guiding the viewer to conclusions. Fassbinder once commented that, unlike Freud or Marx, he has no solutions and wants his films to compel the viewer to undergo a personal revolution. This view is embodied in this vivid, engrossing, beautiful, and incomparable film.

Looking forward to seeing you there!
For further information please contact:
Dr. Marion Pape
University of KwaZulu-Natal
School of Arts
German Programme
Durban, 4041
TEL: 031-260 1086/2380
FAX: 031-260 1242

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