Our next screening, from the producer of Downfall, is a combustible mixture of sex and violence, bullets and dangerous ideals
(2008, 143 min, dir. Uli Edel, prod. Bernd Eichinger, starring Martina Gedeck, Moritz Bleibtreu, Bruno Ganz)
TIME: 5.00 p.m.
VENUE: Howard College, MTB West Wing 1st floor, German Programme, Media Room F251
About the film:
Germany in the 1970s: Murderous bomb attacks, the threat of terrorism and the fear of the enemy inside are rocking the very foundations of the still fragile German democracy. The radicalised children of the Nazi generation led by Andreas Baader, Ulrike Meinhof and Gudrun Ensslin are fighting a violent war against what they perceive as the new face of fascism: American imperialism supported by the German establishment, many of whom have a Nazi past. Their aim is to create a more human society but by employing inhuman means they not only spread terror and bloodshed, they also lose their own humanity. The man who understands them is also their hunter: the head of the German police force Horst Herold. And while he succeeds in his relentless pursuit of the young terrorists, he knows he’s only dealing with the tip of the iceberg. (Vitagraph Films)

Imbued with the spirit of youthful rebellion that seized Europe in 1968 but also burdened by a particularly German fear that saw a revival of fascism latent in every government action, Baader Meinhof virulently opposed U.S. involvement in Vietnam and believed it was, as one of its member says, “going to change the political situation or die trying.”

This kind of filmmaking is, obviously, easy to mock, but it has its points. “Baader Meinhof” does capture the sometimes delusional passion of the times, does provide a sense of how revolutionary it must have felt for thousands of students to euphorically chant “Ho Ho Ho Chi Minh.” And, for those who want it, more serious implications are occasionally allowed to peek out from under these glossy covers.

In this “Baader Meinhof” is helped by a strong cast of some of the best actors in Germany, who also in many cases resemble the people they are playing. Stars include Martina Gedeck of “The Lives of Others” as Ulrike Meinhof, Moritz Bleibtreu of “Run Lola Run” as Andreas Baader and Johanna Wokalek of “Aimee and Jaguar” as Baader’s girlfriend and co-conspirator Gudrun Ensslin. And the veteran Bruno Ganz does excellent work as the gang’s nemesis on the German federal police, Horst Herold.



For further details please contact:

Dr. Marion Pape
University of KwaZulu-Natal
School of Arts
German Programme
Durban, 4041
EMAIL: papem@ukzn.ac.za
TEL: 031-260 1086/2380
FAX: 031-260 1242 

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