“Baader”: An Antidote To “Basterds”

baader_meinhofWhile “Inglorious Basterds” was having a big time of it at the box office, a better-told, much more visceral movie about 20th-century German history also crept into New York cinemas. I’m talking about “The Baader Meinhof Complex.” Director Uli Edel’s and scribe-producer Bernd Eichinger’s two-and-a-half-hour look at the tumultuous first decade of the notorious 1960s/’70s Red Army Faction packs a wallop, and if it’s stronger in its action than in its psychology that’s an acceptable price to pay for such an accomplished piece of work. Jailbreaks, assassinations, bombings: they’re all here, as well as the attempt of West German officialdom, led by Bruno Ganz’s top crime-fighter, to combat the mayhem. If you’re craving a movie which doesn’t present Americans as the simplistic good guys against German fascism, but details the flip side of American power, “The Baader Meinhof Complex” is for you.

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