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Movie Review: The Baader Meinhof Complex

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Some people just say they want a revolution. During West Germany's tumultuous late 1960s and 70s, the Red Army Faction delivered. The Baader Meinhof Complex, directed by Uli Edel and based on the book by Stefan Aust, chronicles the RAF and its leaders, including Andreas Baader (Moritz Bleibtreu), his partner-in-crime Gudrun Ensslin (Johanna Wokalek) and reporter-turned-revolutionary Ulrike Meinhof (Martina Gedeck). It was a Golden Globes and Oscars Best Picture nominee this year, but is only making its way to U.S. screens now.

The film begins with families sunbathing in the nude while Janis Joplin is heard wishing Jesus would buy her a German car. As her husband ogles other women and her prepubescent daughters frolic in the surf, Meinhof reads a magazine detailing the impending visit to Berlin of the Shah of Iran. It's an idyllic scene, but soon enough Meinhof, and the movie, will leave tranquility far behind.