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In a beautiful written piece for the New York Times, Trevor Noah paints a picture of his childhood with his mother

Der Baader Meinhof Komplex

2009-04-03 10:13

What it's about:
In Berlin in 1967, a horrific riot inspires a woman named Ulrike Meinhof to join forces with Andreas Baader to battle their government. The pair moves from activism into terrorism, as they lead the group known as the Red Army Faction, aka the Baader-Meinhof Group.

Murderous bomb attacks, the threat of terrorism and the fear of the enemy inside are rocking the very foundations of the yet fragile German democracy. The radicalised children of the Nazi generation lead 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.

What the critics have to say:
"A long but powerful true-life drama of 1970s German terrorists features masterful storytelling and bravura performances."
- Bonnie J. Gordon, Hollywood Reporter

"An explosive performance by Johanna Wokalek gives some relief to an otherwise long and humdrum series of characters, blow-'em-ups and prison locations."
- Boyd van Hoeij, Variety

"The film crams a vast amount of information into two-and-a-half hours, and makes an honest, intelligent attempt to portray terrorism from every angle, including the victims' and authorities' viewpoints."
- Christopher Tookey, Daily Mail [UK]

"Fascinating history, very good movie — but demanding, and its lack of easy answers will frustrate some. Lessons about 21st century terrorism are implicit, but not overly stressed."
- Kim Newman, Empire Magazine

A look at Germany's terrorist group, The Red Army Faction (RAF), which organized bombings, robberies, kidnappings and assassinations in the late 1960s and '70s.

What to read next: Official site

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