Jarv’s Birthday Series: Der Baader Meinhof Komplex (2009)

As I near the present day, I do have to say that, for the most part, I’ve enjoyed this little trawl through the movies released on my Birthday. Even when it’s been a few terrible films, I’ve been forced to watch and review them at such a rate that a good film has popped up and put a smile on my face to relieve any pain caused by some of the rotten dregs of cinema on the list (looking at you Dirty Dancing). 2009 was an interesting year. I was one year into my current job (bah) and had already reached the apogee of self-loathing that selling out inflicts on you. As a result, I was spending far too much time at Gingertown messing around on the Twitch thread. As were we all- this was, after all, only two months shy of founding the Church. Incidentally, Twitch is an excellent site and has pointed me in the direction of many a sterling “international” film that I’d probably never have discovered. And the Red Baron, which was shit.

One of the first films that I remember hearing about from Twitch was Der Baader-Meinhof Komplex, a stellar German film released in New York on 21st August, Although I saw on its opening in the UK in November 2008. This is a film that I loved so much that I immediately included it in my best of the decade for Europe, and is a high-class true story based on an ignominious chapter of recent German History, documenting the story of one of the most laughably inept “terrorist” organisations that ever walked the face of the Earth.

This is a warning in advance- this is a very, very long review. Apologies, and I hope it isn’t boring.

I was absolutely stoked to see this in the cinema. Completely and utterly unreasonably excited about it. If ever a film was ripe to be a disappointment then this one was it. Why was I so excited to see it? Well, I’ve had a minor Milf-type crush on Martina Gedeck since the truly outstanding Lives of Others, and I’ve liked Moritz Bleibtreu since Run Lola Run back in the 90’s. Furthermore, I’m incredibly fascinated by that period of European history, the Red Army Faction and Ulrike Meinhof in particular.

Let me be absolutely clear about this from the start: the Red Army Faction were half-witted revolutionaries led by a charismatic lunatic. The Baader Meinhof Complex bares absolutely no bones about this. When I eventually put together my revolutionary group to sweep the current ruling scum into the Thames, I’m going to have proper goals and demands, rather than just publishing some kind of nebulous “smash capitalism” nonsense. With regards to the Red Army Faction, according to this film they weren’t actually terrorists (despite demands) as Baader was basically obsessed with robbing banks: sticking it to the man by stealing off him. There were real “terrorist” actions that the RAF undertook here, but the one the RAF get upset about was the bombing of a newspaper office, and that was at the instigation of Meinhof, who was probably the only one of them that did understand capitalism. In reality, of course, there was a trail of ill-directed bloodshed behind them including murders, kidnappings, bombings, the disastrous siege of the West German Embassy in Stockholm and the Hijacking of Lufthansa Flight 181. To be fair to Baader et al, these last two were performed by “the second generation” as part of the German Autumn.

The Baader Meinhof Complex tells the full story of the Red Army Faction, from conception to the tragic end (Germany really needs to look at this). It follows Ulrike Meinhof, portrayed here as one of the leading lights of left-wing journalism in Germany. She’s stunned by the brutal actions of the police in suppressing a riot and this occurs at the same time as her life begins to fall apart- starting with her husband’s infidelity. Gradually she is drawn to Andreas Baader and his girlfriend Johanna Wokalek’s Gudrun Ensslin (a borderline sociopath deeply inducted into Marxism- without understanding the philosophy at all) and eventually becomes complicit in his break out from prison. She becomes a fully-fledged member of the RAF (crap terrorists as opposed to sterling Air Force), and is essential as their voice. Eventually, the German Police, embodied here by Bruno Ganz’s Horst Herold, capture the terrorist cell, isolate the leaders and put them on trial. The tragic end is inevitable, and deeply upsetting- however, before that the “Second Generation” of the RAF, led by the insane Brigitte Monhaupt (Nadja Uhl) had already begun their rampage of bloodlust and the bodies were piling up.

Interestingly, from a historical perspective, the Second and Third generations of the RAF were far more extreme and savage than the original group led by Baader, and the film does try hard to draw a distinction between the two periods. I’m not excluding the first generation, because they have as much blood on their hands as anyone, but I find it curious that the film tries so hard to excuse the actions of Baader et al, and condemn the later groups. I suppose, if I had to take a stab at it, that the reason for this derives from this comment of Ensslin’s:

They’ll kill us all. You know what kind of pigs we’re up against. This is the Auschwitz generation. You can’t argue with people who made Auschwitz. They have weapons and we haven’t. We must arm ourselves!

The feeling amongst the German Youth of the 1970’s was a strong reaction to the rise of the far right (don’t anyone dare give me this shit about Nazism= Left Wing. That’s all from that half-witted Yank fraud’s book Liberal Fascism and is a deplorable attempt to exonerate the right wing of any of the sins of the 20th Century). The feeling was that the apparatus of power hadn’t changed since the rise of the Nazi Party. The same politicians and police chiefs were still in place, children were taught by the same teachers, and the youth who rebelled against Nazism in horror and collective guilt began to gravitate to the extreme left wing in reaction. Incidentally, just before I get accused of being a pinko liberal anti ‘Merican commie type, the far left are just as revolting and reprehensible as the far right. But hey, Germans like rules, so what can you expect? The Red Army Faction was born from this discontent.

In the film, Meinhof becomes drawn deeper into the web, attending hilariously stupid training camps with the PLO, penning the manifesto and various articles, but never becoming integral to the cause. Rather Ensslin despises her (she accuses Meinhof in one memorable scene of being “a knife in the back of the RAF”), and is rewriting her words before they can reach the public. It’s no surprise that Meinhof is the first of the suicides- although the RAF despicably claim that they were murdered in custody.

The first point of note here on a critical level is that the casting here is simply superb. Gedeck, when made up, is a damned close match for Meinhof, and Wokalek is spookily similar to Ensslin, not to mention that Uhl is almost a facsimile of Mohnhaupt. The only criticism really is that Bleibtreu only bears a passing resemblance to Baader, but given the incredibly accurate job done on the rest of the faction, it’s excusable.

The acting here is as good as the casting. Martina Gedeck is sympathetic, highly attractive and desperately needy as Meinhof. The film almost seems to suggest that this highly intelligent liberal media presence has a minor case of Stockholm Syndrome, but that’s, I feel, too simplistic for a woman as complex as her. Gedeck embodies her with an emotional fragility, and despite being a much more physically and mentally intimidating woman than the juvenile and unhinged Ensslin, she manages to portray Meinhof as essentially mentally weak: a time bomb waiting to go off. Bliebtreu’s performance a Baader is also top drawer, being all insane charisma coupled with strange petulance. However, the ace in the hole here is Wokalek as Ensslin. This is a superb performance, a combination of scarily insane, wilfully strident, vicious, sexy, strong-willed and just as charismatic as Baader.

A film about Terrorism should, by nature, be a dour and unpleasant affair. However, this isn’t true of BMC. The writers Stefan Aust and Uli Edel (also the director) lighten the tone frequently to stop the weighty nature of events from becoming overbearing. Three scenes leap to mind, two at the training camp: Baader’s tantrum where he screams that they are “Urban terrorists” and the training is not for them- they want to know how to rob banks, the brilliant scene where the women are sunbathing nude to the horror of the Islamic extremists, and the truly hilarious moment when Baader, having just goaded a lawyer into stealing a purse discovers that his car has been stolen. This is generally a very clever script, but I have two huge complaints about it. The first is the wilful way that the writers tried to absolve the first generation of bloodshed. They weren’t as extreme as those that followed, true, but they were responsible for murders and bombings. These were not “nice” people, even if you think their cause was just. The second complaint I have regarding the writing is actually fairly major: The Baader Meinhof Complex is downright preachy on more than one occasion. This is most notable during the scenes with Herold, and as good as the acting here is it can’t disguise it. The three men in the room are discussing what to “do” about the Red Army Faction, when Herold comes out with a load of absolute tripe about needing to understand where the terrorists are coming from. This is nonsense for a few reasons: Firstly, he himself would be part of the problem as far as they are concerned, and secondly, it is trying to force the film’s message down the audience’s throat. This is annoying, because in a film as hugely confident as this one, it almost smells like the unpleasant whiff of collective guilt and weak minded liberal thinking rearing its ugly head again. These scenes are unnecessary, and as this isn’t a short film (much like the review) should have ended up on the cutting room floor.

Furthermore, the other reason this bothers me is that the film has a genuinely strong ending totally based in reality. There can be no doubt that the German Authorities did go too far with their incarceration of the RAF, the endless solitary etc. and even if that is understandable due to fear that they were contacting the outside (they weren’t, Mohnhaupt- recently paroled, by the way- was already on the loose) there can be no real justification for what they did. The message of the film stands with the suicide of the main characters, it’s the ultimate example of authoritarian abuse of power in the film, and as such there is no need for endless entirely fictitious rumination about a need to “understand” why these disenfranchised people have become terrorists.

Overall, this is a stupendous film. It’s genuinely superb despite my quibble about the writing, and it’s a film that I do recommend to everyone. The performances alone make The Baader Meinhof Complex worth seeing, but as a depiction of a forgotten period of European history and an insight into the collective German psyche, it’s very hard to top this film. I whole-heartedly recommend Der Baader Meinhof Komplex and give it 3.5 RAF logos out of 4. This really is an essential film, and one of the finest European efforts of the last decade.

Only 1 film to go now: 2010’s Piranha 3D- the perfect antidote for a film as heavy as this one.

I am aware, because I’ve just discovered it, that this review is a fudge of the rules. Therefore at some point I will be returning to *shudder* this list to pick from the awful other options for 2009

Until next time,


The full list in this series:

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

About Jarv

Workshy cynic, given to posting reams of nonsense on the internet and watching films that have inexplicably got a piss poor reputation.

86 responses to “Jarv’s Birthday Series: Der Baader Meinhof Komplex (2009)”

  1. Xiphos0311 says :

    While I mostly agree with your review the one part of this movie that I find hugely galling and hugely disingenuous and prevents me from calling this a classic(it is a good movie) is the Beqaa Valley training sequence. Look I realize that it really was the few place to “lighten” up the movie(and get some hairy bush full frontal shots) but they chose the exact wrong place for that and frankly it seems to me that the writers and directors are desperately trying to white wash the Soviet Union, PLO, RAF and what I can only surmise is the creators love of socialism.

    Those hilariously stupid training camps were far from that. In fact they were highly organized well run facilities of the KGB First Directive and GRU(the only time those to groups worked together and were able to accomplish something) and were used to target worthy political operatives, direct actions cells, people able to organize and fund raise, those gifted at propaganda etc. They also were good at finding a use for goofballs like the RAF who were fairly inept (1st generation at least) but were loud, violent and drew government attention and let the more capable units of Soviet intel, political operatives and para-military infiltrate unnoticed and unsuspected.

    Those camps definitely had a hierarchy the closer you were to the middle of the Valley the more highly prized recruit you were, the RAF were mostly seen as useful cannon fodder and were treated as such and exiled to the outer facilities. But to make those facilities(that AQ used for training) seem like wacky fun times with goofy swarthy ethnic types is just fucking wrong in my opinion and is covering some sort of political agenda.

    And while I am in the mood fuck middle class German cocktards with indoor plumping,central heat and air, a public transit system with places to go, free or nearly free education including post high school, guaranteed medical care(until age 70 then its reduced and at 72 fuck you charlie off you go welcome to carousel), highly centralized government insuring a long slave life free of any real struggle that think post war Germany was in any way shape or form a fascist country. Outside of Scandinavia and The Swiss there was no country that’s government was farther away from fascist thought and action then post war Germany. What a fucking bunch of whining sniveling fucking children. Only overly civilized, safe, effete modern Western European countries could produce so many fucking moronic retards. Only western countries produce motherfuckers that ruthlessness navel gaze like that. Bunch of greedy whiny babies that never grow up nor know anything about what true hard times and struggles are.

    I can at least understand why the Hajjis and Africans get so sideways those shit holes are living monuments to hell on earth and the sheeples of those countries are abused by some of the most evil cocksuckers imaginable but still I get it. The soul rending poverty(if you tell me there are poor in Western nations It isn’t on the same planet so go pound sand), the diseases, the murders, tortures, rape, abuse, starvation, social stratification, no education, corrupt bureaucracies(if there are any) Police, armed mobs called soldiers, all sorts of religious, ethnic and political lunacy, illiteracy and ignorance literally everything is against them.
    Then I see somebody like Andreas Bader a fucking product of post war “progressive” social engineering, a thief and a poser I mean jesus fuck that cunt PAID somebody to design the motherfucking logo of the RAF and then had the nerve to claim he was oppressed by the Man fuck him. To bad GSG9 didn’t come along until 1973. Badder deserved to stop multiple 9mm rounds with his face just for being a complete asshat baby.

    Its the same fucking horseshit give me now infantile response demonstrated by all the noble rioters of England last week. The ones that couldn’t wait to steal track suits, mobile phones and Plasma TVs. Did you read their manifesto of wants? It was more free shit paid for by somebody else. It’s to bad England can’t produce men anymore, a few dozen like Gene Hunt would go a long way fixing some problems.

  2. Jarv says :

    See, I didn’t know that about the training camps. In my defence, though, they are shown through the eyes of the RAF, and are clearly depicted as being wholly inappropriate for the wannabe revolutionaries. The scene is played for laughs with the fat, middle class krauts unable to crawl under the wires and suchlike. Furthermore, this is a film in dire need of levity, and I can’t think of where else you would put it- they were only on the fringes, and the Palestinian trainers are portrayed as being professional as opposed to inept fuckheads like Baader.

    I also agree with you about Baader himself, and the film makes this very clear. He’s a cunt, a fraud and a poseur. His first terrorist action, remember, was firebombing a fucking department store as a generic protest against capitalism.

    Baader and Ensslin were unquestionable fuckheads. They didn’t understand Marxism at all, and they didn’t have a proper manifesto. The RAF were incredibly useful for the Stasi in particular who pulled off a good few assassinations and pinned it on the douchebags in the west.

    However, I think you’re being a bit harsh on Meinhof. She was raised under Nazi Germany, and suffered from a severe attack of collective guilt. She was also noticeably older than the likes of Ensslin (who, let’s face it, was basically a spoiled little girl with daddy issues and a copy of Das Kapital, that she didn’t understand). Where Meinhof (who, recent research suggests, was actually brain damaged due to botched surgery to remove a tumour) may well have been sincere in her beliefs, it’s also worth remembering that she wasn’t actually in the leadership of the group- and the film also makes this clear. She was merely the most high-profile.

    I agree with you about the lily livered progressive streak that runs through this film, it does annoy me, however, I think the film is good enough that I can get over it. You can see it clearly in the scenes debating “understanding” the RAF.

    I weigh this film up, because it is absolutely merciless in its depiction of the RAF as useless fuckheads- the only real act of what I would consider proper revolutionary behaviour was blowing up the newspaper (Meinhof was right about that) and Ensslin and Baader shat one over it. Wankers. The film isn’t wholly balanced, but it is very clear on things like the depiction of Meinhof’s bourgoise lifestyle pre RAF, and the inherent hypocrisy of the movement. They’re very much shown as basiclly cretinous children that never grew up.

    I think this is an excellent film, and it does at least shine a light on a neglected period of history, While it isn’t fully balanced, and could have done without certain things, I think the casting and the acting is more than good enough to justify it. It won’t go down as a classic, because it is flawed, but I still rate it as a fucking good film.

    Certainly better than anything dealing with the IRA.

    • Jarv says :

      I also agree about poverty in the west. There isn’t any.

      Finally, on the UK riots- they weren’t political. There’s a troupe of dickheads on the left in this country trying to hijack them and pretend they were about the austerity measures, which, er, haven’t started yet. They weren’t. It was opportunistic theft and that is all. The initial flashpoint was the execution (and that’s what it’s looking like more and more, although the cop that managed to shoot his own mate needs to never be allowed within 1000 miles of a firearm again) of a drug dealer. I can understand it kicking off in a predominantly ethnic community such as tottenham, but the rest of the city spotted it as a chance to steal shit. I know of people now that are severely regretting it. One woman I know of, her scumbag sons looted, and then (they don’t live with her) stashed the shit in her place when she was out. She found it, and handed them over to the police with the stuff- she’s now under threat of eviction if they ever return to her place. The theiving bastards are going to feel the hurt for this one.

      • Jarv says :

        Did he really pay for that logo? He was ripped off badly. A kid with crayons could do better.

        It is amusing that Meinhof is the rallying point for the cretinous wannabe marxists around now, not Baader or Ensslin. For good reason, I’d imagine. She was the only one with half a brain.

    • Jarv says :

      The other thing, XI, while I’m thinking about it is this:

      Guilt is a big part of the german collective psyche for people of a certain age. The writer of the novel this is based on would fit right into that demographic.

      What I would take a shot at, and this is pure supposition, is that the novel was prompted by the deaths at Stannheim gaol- it’s essentially about where authority failed. I think it’s this that lies at the core of the film: these spoiled children formed an incompetent terrorist organisation (that gave rise to a ruthlessly efficient terrorist organisation) due to the failures of authority, be it police, government or society in general.

      The film finishes very quickly after the suicides are discovered, and I genuinely think that this is what it’s leading up to: Prison failed for these people, possibly due to the treatment they received inside (although the deeply unstable Meinhof and Ensslin would probably have offed themselves anyway).

      It’s worth noting that the leader of the second generation, Mohnhaupt was paroled having served 27 of the last 30 years behind bars. She didn’t kill herself- and I think this shows just how much more frightening and dedicated the second lot were compared to the first.

    • Xiphos0311 says :

      Oh I agree its a good a film and it does shine a light on recent events glossed over by fellow travelers i just found the camp revisionism hard to swallow, it smacks of protection of something to me, what’s being protected I don’t know, it just seems like it to me. Oh and by the way I bet the doofus RAF did the nude thing on purpose, they are just the kind of assholes who would shit on the carpet in their hosts home.

      Also speaking of the IRA lot’s of them went ran through those camps in the late 60’s early 70’s. That’s why all of a sudden the IRA became quite effective almost overnight and their tactics changed so much that 70’s were such bad time for murders and bombings. If I remember teh numbers correctly almost half of the 500 UK soldiers died during the 70’s.

      • Jarv says :

        I don’t think it’s protection. I think it’s guilt.

        The film goes out of its way to label Baader et al as incompetent children. The more I think about it, the more certain I am that the film is about the failure of the system during the period.

    • Xiphos0311 says :

      In meinhof case she was more or less a damaged lonely women who thought she found a place where people listened to her although Ensslin undermined that at every turn becasue she was nuts, talk about a chick with issues.

      True Meinhof is, I think, the only who had a legitimate claim to “guilt” which is something I have a hard time comprehending. The only ones that have a legitimate claim to that is actual participants of Nazism and not people born afterward. I could understand some vague intellectual sense of remorse maybe but “guilt” for something you didn’t do is fucking pathological.I have the same problem with Englishmen that claim “shame” over the “atrocities” of English “imperilisim” You mutts didn’t participate in it STFU.

      • Jarv says :

        I don’t know anyone that feels bad about the Empire. That’s politicians being cunts again.

        I agree. Shut the fuck up, wankers.

        Meinhof is the most interesting of them, because she was also the only one that witnessed the second world war (born in 1935). She was also directly affected by it and the Nazi party.

        My friend says collective guilt is very much part of the German psyche, as much as following orders and obeying the rules at all costs. (Which I also don’t understand).

      • Jarv says :

        If anything, actually, there’s a sneaking sense of pride that a shitty island in the North Sea ruled 1/3 of the globe at one point. We don’t admit that though.

        Also, like when some fucking idiotic pressure group was trying to bully Blair into apologising for Slavery. He should have said “I do apologise that we abolished slavery in 1833, but seeing as it was nearly 200 years ago, I suggest you get the fuck over it”.

      • Xiphos0311 says :

        in meinhofs case its understandable that she went entirely in the other direction from Nazism, although except for rhetoric extreme ideologies are the same power control and death. Left right doesn’t matter power is all they want.

      • Jarv says :

        This is an interesting point that the American Right (as embodied by cunts like that tool that wrote Liberal Fascism- which should really be a work of fiction not history) ignores.

        The extreme left and the extreme right actually have more in common with each other than the moderate side of their own wing. The apparatus of totalitarinaism, for example is identical in both cases.

      • Xiphos0311 says :

        guilt over the empire thing I don’t see in print as much anymore and usually it’s dressed up in fancy sounding rhetoric but its still there.

      • Jarv says :

        In the media and government it is. Not anywhere else, and certainly not actual people.

        But, despite what they like to say, the British Broadcast Media is institutionally left wing. The print media tends to the right more, aside from the Guardian, Independent (HA!) and Mirror, and you don’t see it in the likes of The Torygraph.

        You see it a hell of a lot in the Guardian.

      • Jarv says :

        Anyway, we gave Cricket to the colonies, and then kindly allowed them to beat us at it for a few decades. Because we’re nice like that.

        Now, though, it’s time to slam them back in their place.


        Best be off. Got to watch England finish beating India into mush.

  3. Jarv says :

    You know, I am glad I fucked up and reviewed this when I shouldn’t. There’s a hell of a lot to talk about here.

    • Xiphos0311 says :

      Oh sure it was entirely about theft but then they tried to cover that up with demands for free college, Rent controlled apartments(isn’t council housing rent controlled like the projects in The States?) and bunch of other free shit that I can’t remember now.

      • Jarv says :

        Those fuckers are in Council Housing- it’s social housing, they basically don’t pay for it.

        That manifesto was produced by the left wing and had nothing at all to do with the riots. As if those cunts have any concept of what us people with jobs pay in rent. (There is an argument, incidentally, that we do need rent control in London).

        The University thing is complicated, it’s already, in comparison with the states, very cheap. BUT the price of it was tripled in a year, and it’s now getting expensive. British Universities don’t offer scholarships and things either, so it has to be entirely funded through student loans. I was the last year to get free university education. The scumbag politicians of all stripe broke manifesto pledges on University charging. It’s hypocrisy, because not one of them paid for it. Personally, I think it should be free and universities should be reduced- cut all the bullshit courses like “Media studies” etc. Either do proper academia, or fuck off.

      • Xiphos0311 says :

        if you want rent prices to increase more just add rent control. any time you add price conttol to the mix prices sky rocket.

      • Jarv says :

        This is where it gets complicated though, Xi.

        London rent is maintained at an artificially high level though Housing Benefit- which pays private Landlords at the “top” of the market- as determined by a load of bullshit indicators. This in effect inflates rent for the rest of us.

        The way to enact Rent control here is to cap housing benefit at a much lower level. This will, in turn, force the profiteering shits to lower their rent because they won’t be able to fill the property. Actual rents in London way outstrip what the market would provide. (Although this isn’t what they want)

        However, as most of our political class spent the last 15 years feathering their fucking nests and building up buy to let portfolios on the fucking tax payer, there’s more chance of us actually getting Astrodykes v Werewolves on the Moon filmed than there is of the greedy, self-serving parasites actually doing something for the public good that runs contrary to the needs of their wallets.

        We need a fucking revolution. I may quote Cromwell again in a minute thinking about these cunts,.

      • Xiphos0311 says :

        Oh Ok the government is already fucking it up. get the government out the rent business.

      • Jarv says :

        This is where the problem lies though- to get the government out the following things have to happen:

        1) No more immigration

        2) Build actual council housing and stop selling it off.

        Neither is going to happen, and the politicians are already making themselves millionaires from it, so it’s not going to change.

  4. Continentalop says :

    I would really enjoy joining this debate but I haven’t seen this film. Have to track it down, sounds good.

    Glad to see your bday series turn around after last movie.

    • Jarv says :

      So was I. This really is worth watching Conti- even just as food for thought. There’s a lot of debate springs from it.

      Except I fucked it up, and BMC is actually a 2008 film- it was only released in New York on that date. i totally misread it when compiling the list.

      My alternatives that I’ll have to watch instead are:

      1) Inglorious Assturds
      2) Some shit with Alexis Bledl called Post Grad that I’ve never heard of
      3) World’s Greatest Dad.
      4) Shorts
      5) My one and only, which I’ve never heard of.

      The one I hate least of those options is cokey’s effort. So I’ll have to come back to it. It’ll drive me nuts though, and I don’t really want to hand out another Orangutan of Doom.

  5. Continentalop says :

    I will say I don’t think background explains or justifies why people do things. Everyone judges themselves against their peers and the people around them. Hell, a lot of time it isn’t about how you measure against your peers, it is just about getting a chance to rebel against the “status quo.” Yeah, logically these kids had no reason to go join the Marxist and rebel against the cushy lives they had, but you’re asking for a bunch of dumbshits to be logical. Isn’t going to happen.

    • Jarv says :

      Well, I based it around what they actually said in real life not the film. Ensslin is on record with that Auschitz quote above. This is the post-war generation, remember.

      I’ve got a German friend (as unconvincing as that sounds) and she says that history lessons in school were awful for them, they were just pannelled into the ground with the atrocities they had committed as a race.

      What will have been galling for the first post-war generation, is that the people doing the beating were complicit in Nazism etc. This would explain an over-reaction and gravitation to the extreme left. When you throw in that Europe was in deep recession (the UK was down to the three day week), and that Baader (pathetic man-child that he was) and Ensslin (obvious sociopath that she was) had charisma, and a high profile figurehead, it’s not surprising that they gravitated to the RAF.

      • Jarv says :

        This isn’t a justification, by the way. It’s more of an attempt to point out that something like this was predictable.

        Nowadays in the UK, we’re in deep recession again and there are no jobs for the lower classes. The middle classes are crushed with self-inflicted debt, and the fucking country seethes with resentment against the upper classes as embodied by “Banksters” (copyright Guardian) and Politicians. As a result of this, there is a mass of discontent and the far right is on the rise here. The EDF/ NF are growing in numbers and becoming both more militant and more open and the fucking BNP are actually becoming an electoral body.

        Throw in resentment against what people perceive as unfettered immigration, and we should just thank our lucky stars that the knuckle dragging extremists have all the charisma of a sweaty jock strap full of semolina.

      • Continentalop says :

        I think the entire fear of the Right-Wing was just a justification/excuse for some young people to rebel. Happens in the US all the time on college campuses. Young people are always looking to rebel and nothing gives them a better excuse than the hypocrisies of their forefathers (of course they ignore their own hypocrisies).

        And yeah, don’t remind me of that entirely stupid Liberal Fascism thing. I guess slave owners were Liberals too (Dems yes, but not liberals).

      • Jarv says :

        I agree- I think the situation was ripe for an extreme left-wing group to emerge in Germany. It’s an obvious place to rebel if the generation above, in your eyes, represent the extreme right.

        They were politically unsophisticated (aside from Meinhof- who wasn’t the leader), and as such the whole movement was a bit pathetic.

        Don’t get me started on that book.

      • Continentalop says :

        And I am not saying the environment and conditions don’t have an effect. Resentments and struggling to get a piece of the pie will always make people do dumb things and get violent, especially in Western societies where everyone is supposed to have a chance.

        I’m just saying if this guys didn’t got to the Reds I could easily see them going to the Far Right, the Nazis or maybe just become punk rockers. What mostly fueled them wasn’t ideology but old fashion youthful stupidity and need to rebel.

      • Jarv says :

        I’m just saying if this guys didn’t got to the Reds I could easily see them going to the Far Right, the Nazis or maybe just become punk rockers. What mostly fueled them wasn’t ideology but old fashion youthful stupidity and need to rebel.

        Yup. Agree. Just the situation in Germany at that time would preclude the far right.

        Which is why, now, the far right is on the rise here.

      • Xiphos0311 says :

        liberals could never be, well anything, they are giant pussy and much to cowardly to do anything but look for handouts and whine like bitches on the rag. That only applies to libral men the “women” are scary tough.

      • Jarv says :

        I like to think of myself as liberal. But I mean UK 19th Century Liberal.

        I don’t whine and ask for handouts etc.

      • Continentalop says :

        The more shit I see in the news, the more I realize I am not become more conservative or liberal.

        I am just becoming much more of a misanthrope. Humanity sucks. Time for a new species.

      • Jarv says :

        Me too.

        I’ve now started voting for whichever poor cunt that isn’t an extremist nutter in the UK needs the vote most to get their deposit back. Fuck the lot of them.

      • Continentalop says :

        MLK was a liberal. And so was John Brown.

      • Continentalop says :

        You do bitch a lot about movies. But considering what movies you watch, that is understandable.

      • Jarv says :

        I challenge anyone NOT to bitch about Xanadu.

        I’d consider that a sign of insanity.

      • Continentalop says :

        It could be worse. You could have Pillows list.

        Fuck. That list is enough to make you go on a suicide/shooting rampage.

      • Jarv says :

        I wouldn’t have done it with that list, I have to be honest.

        There is no way I would have sat through half of them. Weirdly, I probably would have sat through The Beast Within, but shit like The Betsy?

  6. Xiphos0311 says :

    John Brown was liberal? have religious crusaders been redefined as liberal now?

    • Jarv says :

      I wonder who we can reclassify as liberal nowadays.

      After that prick tried to claim Mussolini was a liberal I think it must be open season.

      • Xiphos0311 says :

        You can claim anybody for anything if you fracture the truth enough and twist reality like a pretzel.

        What prick are you talking about is it the same one from the book reference above. I’m sorry I don’t recognize it.

      • Jarv says :

        Jonah Goldberg wrote the book. He’s the prick I’m talking about:


      • Jarv says :

        Reading about it has annoyed me-

        The whole fucking book is a cretinous, disingenuous logical fallacy.

        Fucking dickhead.

      • Xiphos0311 says :

        never heard of it and from what i read sounds like another worthless entry by the professional pundit class.

      • Jarv says :

        It’s one of the most worthless examples out there.

        The whole book is reductio ad absurdia broad-brush crap:

        Hitler was vegetarian, liberals sometimes are vegetarian. Therefore, liberals equal fascists.

        Not to mention that a lot of it is based on a fundamental misreading of an H. G. Wells lecture.

        Offensive shit.

      • Xiphos0311 says :

        all books from the left and right pundits seem to always be broad brush it’s just throwing red meat to the true believers.

      • Jarv says :

        It’s sheer cretinism.

        Infuriates me.

      • Xiphos0311 says :

        yep it is creationism I agree.

      • Jarv says :

        It makes academia even more redundant. Academia should be about challenging conventional thinking etc, but instead it’s just pandering nonsense to the peanut gallery.


    • Continentalop says :

      He was liberal in the context of 1850-60s. He wanted to radically change the country and do away with certain social institutions because it went against his moral belief equality. Classic liberalism.

      I think you’re mistaking liberals for “pussies.” Most pussies are liberals but not all liberals are pussies.

      • Jarv says :

        Context is everything for this discussion. It’s why that prick was wrong about h.g. Wells

      • koutchboom says :

        Yeah I’ve always thought HG Well was pretty good looking. SLO MO SPARTACUS SAND AND BLOOD FOR THE BLOODY WIN!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

      • Xiphos0311 says :

        so 1850-60’s liberalism, in context, included extreme religious firebrands? One that was perfectly happy to sacrifice his own children like Abraham was directed to do with Isaac?

        I don’t think John Brown was so much liberal as was nuts by religious ferver. Jump him forward 125 years he would probably bomb abortion clinics.

      • Continentalop says :

        Hey, the term liberal has always been shifting and included contradictory viewpoints, much like conservative. I mean, both Adam Smith and John Keynes are liberals.

  7. Xiphos0311 says :

    Apparently weekends are the prime time for long intricate posts. The one I have going up is pretty long and involved.

    • Jarv says :

      It does look like it. What have I seen with gratuitous nudity that I can lower the tone with tomorrow….

      • Xiphos0311 says :

        technically this had gratuitous nudity in it…

      • Jarv says :


        Not Dudity, hopefully?

      • Xiphos0311 says :

        sorry that wasn’t clear, I meant this movie Baader Meinhof.

        I’m doing a single book review although it does have some nudity.

      • Jarv says :

        Fair enough. There’s no Dudity here though.

        The women get totally naked at every chance but the men keep their pants on. Thankfully.

      • Xiphos0311 says :

        yeah the women did get naked a lot meinhoff was the best of the bunch.

      • Jarv says :

        Highly attractive woman, Gedeck considering she is 50

      • Toadkillerdog says :

        Jarvik, excellent review, one of your very best. I could tell you were invested in the movie and the review at a personal level – without resorting to mentioning how your father bought you a pair of BM underoos when you were three and thus launched you on a lifelong quest to fight the man for truth, justice and unlimited access to deep fried oreo cookies, unlike what a certain ginger reviewer would have said.

        I will search out this flick.

        BTW nice back and forth with Xi and Conti.
        It is nice to see differing opinions being argued without resorting to name calling or cowardly refusal to engage because you fear you might lose -unlike at a certain place that shall remain nameless

      • Jarv says :

        Cheers TKD. It’s available with subtitles at Stagevu.com

        This really is a fucking good film that just misses greatness, but there’s lots to talk about here from it.

        And unlike fatland we can debate like adults.

        It helps that there’s lots of nudity in this.

      • Continentalop says :

        Hey Toad. As Jarv said, it is easier to debate because we are adults (who like nudity, stabbery and midgets).

        I actually like debating Jarv and Xi because both raise good points and raise interesting questions. I for one don’t mind having my opinions challenged.

    • Xiphos0311 says :

      yep she is quite fetching.

      hey have a good rest of your day, my stuff finally showed up and I need to go get it sorted out. take care.

  8. Droid says :

    Excellent review. I’m impressed. I haven’t seen the film and am not really familiar with the events. I’ll have to check out the film. Well done on the review. Nearly there.

    • Jarv says :


      This is well worth seeing- just remember that the first generation were a lot more bloodthirsty than they’re depicted as here.

      I think, though, that they were more interesting than those that followed, in the same way that the original Bolsheviks were more interesting than those that followed.

      Meinhof in particular is fascinating.

  9. ThereWolf says :

    Superb review, Jarv. I’ve been meaning to watch this for quite a long time, I’ll get to it eventually.

    Good follow-up debate as well. They don’t tell you this stuff at school. Well, they didn’t at mine anyway.

  10. M. Blitz says :

    Dammit! Still haven’t seen this. And I really ought to have by now.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: