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The Baader Meinhof Complex [Blu-ray] [Import]


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Product Details

  • Actors: Martina Gedeck, Moritz Bleibtreu, Johanna Wokalek, Bruno Ganz, Nadja Uhl
  • Directors: Uli Edel
  • Writers: Uli Edel, Bernd Eichinger, Stefan Aust
  • Producers: Alessandro Passadore, Bernd Eichinger, Christine Rothe, Manuel Cuotemoc Malle
  • Format: Color, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC, Import
  • Language: German
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region A/1
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.66:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • MPAA Rating: R
  • Studio: MPI HOME VIDEO
  • Release Date: March 30 2010
  • Run Time: 150 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0030Y11Q0

Product Description

Product Description

BAADER MEINHOF COMPLEX - Blu-Ray Movie

Amazon.ca

A subject of enduring fascination for Germans (and anybody interested in the more vivid manifestations of the '60s counterculture), the Baader Meinhof gang roared through Europe for years, dividing a population that either demonized or romanticized their exploits. In The Baader Meinhof Complex the goal for director Uli Medel (Last Exit to Brooklyn) and screenwriter Bernd Eichinger is to play the material down the middle: to portray the events of the outlaw group without deciding they are either heroes or terrorists. Some of the motives for the Baader Meinhof gang are laid out early on; for instance, that for the generation born in Germany after Hitler's nightmare had ended, a return to fascism was unacceptable--even to the point of guerrilla activities against the state. Some of Germany's biggest stars are involved in bringing the principals to life, including Moritz Bleibtreu (Run Lola Run) as the self-important ringleader Andreas Baader and Johanna Wokalek (North Face) as Gudrun Ensslin, his coconspirator and lover. The most intriguing narrative thread of the story comes from the decision by journalist Ulrike Meinhof (Martina Gedeck, from The Lives of Others) to leap from her stable life and abruptly join Baader and Ensslin on the run. The subversive activities of the Red Army Faction (as the group dubbed itself), including bombings and arson attacks, are chronicled in rapid, blunt fashion by the movie, which seems less interested in a thoughtful reflection on these incidents than in shoving them in your face. In that sense, you might begin to wish the movie had taken a side, just to provide some coherent perspective. As a rush of sensations, the film's appeal can't be denied, and it scored an Oscar nomination in the 2008 Best Foreign Language Film category. Although it runs two and a half hours, you might find yourself wishing for more screen time for the investigator (the great Bruno Ganz) tracking down the gang. His character has the gall to suggest that in trying to understand a terrorist group, it is advisable to trace back the roots of their motivations and attempt to grapple with those causes--an idea as unpopular in the 1970s as it always is. --Robert Horton

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Format: DVD
The Baader Meinhof Complex is an at once exhilarating and horrific depiction of the rise and fall of a very prominent left-wing extremist group in '70s Germany, formed from an uneasy alliance between journalist Ulrike Meinhof and the incendiary couple Andreas Baader and his girlfriend Gudrun Ensslin. The film explores the initial motivations for their radicalization, the shift from anger and rebellion to increasingly violent acts of terror, and the dissolution of the group's ideology into seeming incoherence as the personal began to overwhelm the political. While watching I wondered if the casting choices had made the characters more appealing than in real life - they were all very striking young men and women - but a bit of research shows it to be quite accurate. They did a remarkable job in capturing the likeness of the actual individuals depicted.

It is a complex film, that highlights the allure of the struggle, at the same time as it reveals the individuals behind it to be deeply human and imperfect, at times conflicted and at others resolute, even dogmatic, to the point of becoming what they had initially struggled against - these are not the mythological figures that came to be idolized by some and hated by others. A fascinating paradox explored by the film is that in war one side inevitably takes on qualities of its enemy: to fight an underground extremist group, the state must employ its tactics, must become flexible and bend the rule of law and its protection of individual rights such as privacy; to stand up against the force of a powerful regime, the anarchic underground must increasingly become autocratic, must not tolerate dissent.

The film is beautifully shot, and edited for an ideal balance of intensity and clarity.
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Format: DVD
In the 1970's Germany was rocked and terrified by terrorist violence from a gang of young people who protested against the German government.They were also protesting against the Vietnam war and wanted it stopped. Bombs,including incendiary ones,kidnappings,murder, court fights and the hijacking of a Lufthansa jetliner were given their full attention which they carried out quite efficiently. Membership in the "RAF" had many adherents even after the main trio were imprisoned.Imprisonment did not hamper them in the least.Troublemaking was never far away. Hunger strikes and even resulting death furthered their resolve. Even Lawyers representing them while in prison were prepared to smuggle goods to them. Escapes from the police and releasing captured members were daringly carried in broad daylight aided by their disguises.Many Banks were robbed and cars were stolen to further their objectives.

Within this tightly knit group nefarious 'orders' emanated as they 'egged' each other on to achieve their stated aims. The dynamics within this group were complicated. Baader, although a murderer and arsonist was called 'baby' by his lover Gudrun Ensslin who always provided 'ideas' for their 'cause'.She was particularly good at recruiting by having a bath with the newcomer. Their magnificent intelligence allowed the construction of elaborate codes so as to communicate with their other members outside of prison. Senior Police were always challenged to solve this horrible problem which was always extremely difficult and their views are shared with viewers and is the only real level headed form of thinking extant. Eventually members of German society even sent them 'gifts' in prison which included lengths of rope so as to hang themselves.
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By Ernest Boudreault on Oct. 12 2014
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Very good movie and well done with accurate facts.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 86 reviews
57 of 63 people found the following review helpful
A New Amorality Oct. 5 2009
By darklordzden - Published on Amazon.com
West Germany, 1967: After a disastrous engagement between the federal republic of Germany's left wing student population and parties sympathetic to the visiting Shah of Iran degenerates into street violence and results in the firebombing of a department store and an assassination attempt on the life of socialist firebrand, Rudi Dutschke, a group of increasingly disaffected German students and petty criminals begin to coalesce around the magnetic personalities of malcontent street punk, Andreas Baader, and his girlfriend, Gudrun Ensslin. Amongst those caught in their gravity is middle-class, left-wing journalist and media personality, Ulrike Meinhof. Baader and Ensslin have decided that politely protesting the policies of American and Israeli "Imperialism" with acts of civil disobedience is no longer enough and decide to engage in armed struggle against the constitutional powers of West Germany. Over the next ten years, the result of the alliance between Baader, Esselin and Meinhof, The `Red Army Faction' (aka the Baader-Meinhof Group), was to terrorise not only the FDR, but the governments and populations of countries far beyond it's borders.

Attempting to relate the tale of the rise to prominence of the RAF, much less adapt Stefan Aust's incredibly convoluted door-stopper of a book, was, I suspected, going to be nigh-on impossible - but Uli Edel's film achieves this virtually impossible task with aplomb. As well as being one of the most impressive thrillers that I've seen in years, its also one of the most fascinating portraits of the corruption and degeneration of political idealism ever to make its way to screen.

Performances are for the most part excellent and Moritz Bleibtreu perfectly embodies the essence of Aust's rendering of Baader - essentially a wayward, misogynistic hooligan who seemed more interested in playing with machine guns than liberating the "oppressed of the world". The yin to Bleibtreu's yang is Martina Gedeck's turn as Ulrike Meinhof: who appears to have been a cosseted champagne socialist who eventually became so misguided and so passionately committed to the struggle against "oppression and imperialism" that she was rather horrifyingly prepared to deliver her own children into a camp for Syrian orphans rather than see them raised under "the yoke of imperialism". There is a telling suggestion that the catalyst which may have precipitated the already fragile Meinhof's fall was the discovery of her husband's infidelity.

From a directorial stance, Edel manages to pull off the difficult trick of observing both sides of the conflict without favouring either. His rendering of the government in the FDR in sixties is anything but nostalgic and seems to suggest that it was inevitable that a group such as the RAF would eventually arise from the formenting crucible of social, political and governmental dissatisfaction that prevailed at the time. On the reverse side of the coin however, it cannot be argued that his sympathies lie with his revolutionary protagonists either, as he is only too willing to clinically dissect their personal failings as well as the raving hypocrisy of their objectives and opinions.

A fascinating portrait of an extreme group of misguided individuals living through the most turbulent period of the late twentieth century, "The Baader Meinhof Complex" is a fascinating study of personal obsession played out through political objectification and one of the best films that I've seen this year.

Highly recommended.
17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
A potent depiction of extremism, its motives and consequences; a timely reflection on a pivotal episode in German history Feb. 13 2010
By Nathan Andersen - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD
The Baader Meinhof Complex is an at once exhilarating and horrific depiction of the rise and fall of a very prominent left-wing extremist group in '70s Germany, formed from an uneasy alliance between journalist Ulrike Meinhof and the incendiary couple Andreas Baader and his girlfriend Gudrun Ensslin. The film explores the initial motivations for their radicalization, the shift from anger and rebellion to increasingly violent acts of terror, and the dissolution of the group's ideology into seeming incoherence as the personal began to overwhelm the political. While watching I wondered if the casting choices had made the characters more appealing than in real life - they were all very striking young men and women - but a bit of research shows it to be quite accurate. They did a remarkable job in capturing the likeness of the actual individuals depicted.

It is a complex film, that highlights the allure of the struggle, at the same time as it reveals the individuals behind it to be deeply human and imperfect, at times conflicted and at others resolute, even dogmatic, to the point of becoming what they had initially struggled against - these are not the mythological figures that came to be idolized by some and hated by others. A fascinating paradox explored by the film is that in war one side inevitably takes on qualities of its enemy: to fight an underground extremist group, the state must employ its tactics, must become flexible and bend the rule of law and its protection of individual rights such as privacy; to stand up against the force of a powerful regime, the anarchic underground must increasingly become autocratic, must not tolerate dissent.

The film is beautifully shot, and edited for an ideal balance of intensity and clarity. There is the feel of a living situation - characters don't have constantly to explain themselves to each other, and you feel the urgency with which they experience their own moments in time - and yet, there is enough laid out that even those unfamiliar with the actual history this is based on should be able to catch up quickly and follow along. The decision to incorporate real footage from the era creates a sense of authenticity and even current relevance that is hard to shake off, emphasizing that this film cannot simply be approached as an escapist fantasy. The reception of the film in Germany at the time of its release was telling - on the one hand there were those who felt that in taking both sides the film failed to capture the heroism and ideals of the leaders, who are still revered by many; and there were others who felt that the decision to tell most of the story from the point of view of the Baader Meinhof group members had the dangerous potential of creating an identification with them and of making their actions seem too glamorous.

In fact the film manages both to clarify and make vividly real the sense of a holy war or struggle that young people felt at the time, and to show that these extremists were not simply the vicious killers they had been demonized to be; but also to demonstrate that their ideals and imperfections led to horrific actions, that in many cases destroyed lives without having any clear outcome that could possibly motivate or justify such violence. I was very young at the time of these events and only remember vague hints of them, but even now going into the film I knew very little of the details. Definitely worth watching -- both as a valuable history lesson, and as a spur to the kinds of discussions that we need to be having about the meaning and motivations of what we call "terrorism." As the German head of police, played in this film by the always excellent Bruno Ganz, suggests: it is easy enough to demonize the "enemy" but there can be no true or lasting victory over extremism and violence without understanding its perpetrators and their perceptions.
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
Haunting Aug. 20 2010
By CGScammell - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I lived in Germany during the RAF era. As a military brat we were in fear of this group, as both Frankfurt and Ramstein experienced terrorist attacks by this group.

The news clips that were used in this movie are genuine. I remember that old man on the German news. The terror lasted all through the 1970s.

It was therefore haunting to see this movie again. All the actors were so believable as their actual characters they were playing. Watch the 30-minute "Making of the B-M Complex" and you will learn that the director, Uli Edel, used all genuine parts, even using the actual court hall of the prison in which the real terrorists were interviewed (and denied) parole. The prison cells were designed according to old photographs of the real prison cells, down to genuine sinks. The actors spent endless hours studying the mannerisms and speech patterns of their roles. Actor Martina Gedeck almost looks like the younger sister of Gudrun Ensslin, the "brains" behind this group of misfits.

I didn't read the book; my opinions are based on memory. The scenes in this movie are non-stop action and at times overly graphic in their violence, but this is how B-M acted. Even how the group slowly fell apart due to newer generations of this group not being in sinc with the original founders, is quite obvious. The Baader-Meinhof gang was a group of highly intellectual but badly misguided and violent group of extreme-left-leaning students whose guilt of their parents perhaps got the ball rolling.

Say what you may, "This is part of our History" said Edel, and this movie shows this history well. This movie deserved the Academy Award for Best Foreign Film.
13 of 16 people found the following review helpful
Guerillas in the Myths.... Dec 10 2009
By Archmaker - Published on Amazon.com
I lived in Germany at this time and it is interesting to see that this group of misfits that held the country in the grip of uneasy fear and paranoia are largely forgotten now. What I like about the film is its depiction of how utterly vapid these "revolutionaries" were, and how much radical terrorism is really a nexus of patchwork politics married to the simple adrenaline thrills of delinquency and crime. Andreas Baader was a punk, pure and simple. His girlfriend Gudren Eisslen seems to be a middle-class brat working out her "daddy issues" through the endless prattle of revolutionary rhetoric. Ulrike Meinhof was a leftist journalist opting out of Fraudom by joining with these losers and becoming their self-justifying voice. None of this would matter, except they murdered real people and were the inspiration for other like-minded malcontents who went on to do the same. They were celebrated by the radical chic crowd of the time, and the myth surrounding them needs to be examined and debunked, as it is to some extent in this film. Then they need to be exiled to a tiny historical footnote and forgotten.

The thing often missed about radicals is that they are insufferable bores. Narrow-minded, egotistical and self-aggrandizing, dysfunctional and generally unhappy and pathetic people they create a romantic fantasy about revolution that is a perfect rationalization for psychopathy. What can you say about people who want to save the world by blowing it up? Well you can say we are living with the ultimate expression of that now with radical Islam, and ain't that fun? This pack of worthless individuals in the Germany of the 1970's were the terrorists of their day. Debated and discussed, exhalted or excoriated in the media, a source of fascination to youths disenchanted with the monotonous bourgeoise success and conformity of post-war Germany. In short, adolescents. And so much of the radicalism of that time was simply adolescent cheap thrills and a way to get laid.

The filmmakers, old leftist themselves who haven't completely come to terms with their own enrapture of that era but middle- aged and reflective now, have caught the feeling of the time, and their depiction of the "banality of evil" that is the ultimate pronouncement on the meaning of the Baader-Meinhof Gang is revealing not only of this group at this time, but the current crop of radicals amongst us today. By and large they make a lot of noise, accomplish little, and you would be hard pressed to want to spend an afternoon with any of them. They themselves are forgettable, unfortunately their crimes cannot be for the suffering they inflict is all too real. Anyway, the film-making is excellent and the cast very good, so it is worth seeing.
13 of 16 people found the following review helpful
Excellent presentation of radical left extremism borne of the 1960/1970's Dec 10 2009
By Christopher Sunner - Published on Amazon.com
I enjoyed the film immensely, and found it to be an excellent study into radical/extreme leftist politics and how some groups evolved into violent terrorist groups that lost sight of a utopian ideal that perhaps never truly existed. Stefan Aust's recently updated (and well-researched) book from which the movie is based on is captured well, albeit the movie moves as a much faster pace while the book provides excellent background and description of events of the times the RAF existed. I do not think the movie portrays the RAF in a sympathetic light, but aptly demonstrates that while the RAF had a utopian ideal, the simplistic and extremist thinking of the group led them to commit horrible atrocities in the name of a "higher morality," echoing the long quoted phrase "The road to hell is paved with good intentions." While somewhat confusing and unclear at times (such as the transition of introducing the second and third generation of RAF members), it is nonetheless useful to also watch the documentary of the making of the film to clarify certain points. This would be an excellent film to use for a beginning sociology or political science class that examines extremist political groups. Also, I found nothing wrong with the size of the subtitles, unlike some people who posted earlier. Don't let that discourage you from seeing the film.


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