Edge

‘Baader Meinhof Complex’ a gripping, frenetic thriller

One of the most stunning aspects of The Baader Meinhof Complex is that it never once lags despite running almost two and a half hours. Germany’s submission to the 2008 Academy Awards and a best foreign language film nominee, the film is absolutely thrilling from start to finish.

After all, had the most comprehensive feature about the Red Army Faction been anything but riveting, it would have been a failed exercise. Making the 1970s far-left terrorist group boring would have been a crime against history.

Luckily for history buffs and film fans alike, Baader Meinhof has no need to embellish its plot’s events. The group, which was active between 1970 and 1998, is responsible for 34 deaths and often chose civilian targets, including department stores and public spaces.

Baader Meinhof looks and sounds as if it is from the 1970s. Cinematography, effects, sound, and action sequences are all period-appropriate, and the script – which covers the group’s inception to the demise of its first generation of leaders – manages to pack an immense amount of information into a enthralling thriller.

The female leads own the film. Martina Gedeck is superb as Ulrike Meinhof, a sympathetic journalist who joins the subjects of her columns in committing terrorist acts; likewise, Johanna Wekalek steals every scene she’s in as group leader Gudrun Ensslin. Wekalek’s chemistry with Moritz Bleibtreu as co-leader Andreas Baader is completely electric.

The sole major fault with the film is that once the group’s original leaders are imprisoned, new characters are introduced without any background; it’s possible to watch the entire movie without knowing who many people are.

The Baader Meinhof Complex is a breathtaking, heart-stopping look at a time in which the youth of a country refused to let the history repeat itself. It is interesting to contrast their activism, whether one approves of their tactics or not, with the apathy of today.

The Baader Meinhof Complex plays Friday through Sunday at the Cosford Cinema.

RATING: 4/4 stars

Starring: Martina Gedeck, Johanna Wekalek, Moritz Bleibtreu

Directed By: Uli Edel

MPAA Rating: R

November 6, 2009

Reporters

Sarah B. Pilchick

Senior EDGE Writer


Around the Web
  • Miami Herald
  • UM News
  • HurricaneSports

It’s the play Miami Hurricanes fans will never forget — and Florida State fans are trying to forget. ...

Miami Hurricanes fans might recall their favorite college football players in past years dreaming of ...

The new quarterback is usually the ones fans gush over. For the University of Miami, last season it ...

Debate all you want, but University of Miami football coach Mark Richt made it clearer than ever Wed ...

Last year, when University of Miami tailback Mark Walton attended the Atlantic Coast Conference Foot ...

An ACLU report authored by UM sociologists documents racial and ethnic disparities in Miami-Dade Cou ...

Following the summit between Trump and Putin, reaction from politicians, pundits and former intellig ...

A School of Communication associate professor played an important hand—an artistic one!—in World Cup ...

University of Miami law and political science professors weigh in on Trump’s SCOTUS nominee. ...

Research bioclimatologists with the UM Synoptic Climatology Lab counsel cities on how to manage risi ...

Miami junior wide receiver Ahmmon Richards was among those named to the watch list for the 2018 Bile ...

University of Miami junior running back Travis Homer was named a preseason candidate for the Doak Wa ...

Six former Canes competed on NBA Summer League teams, with three averaging at least 10 points per ga ...

Quick Hits gives University of Miami volleyball fans an opportunity to get to know the new student-a ...

The University of Miami's volleyball team earned the American Volleyball Coaches Association (A ...

TMH Twitter
About TMH

The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly in print on Tuesdays during the regular academic year.