Baader Meinhof film gets premiere in Germany

Tue Sep 16, 2008 8:56pm EDT
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By Juliane Keck

MUNICH (Reuters) - A film about the rise and fall of the Red Army Faction, a group of left-wing militants suspected of killing dozens of prominent West Germans decades ago, premiered in Munich on Tuesday with a graphic account of one of post-war Germany's darkest chapters.

The documentary-style thriller already has been picked as Germany's entry for Best Foreign Language Film for this year's Oscars, and it is believed to be the most expensive movies ever made in Germany.

Produced by Bernd Eichinger, best known for "Downfall" in which he fueled controversy with his human portrayal of Hitler's last days, "The Baader Meinhof Complex" is based on a bestseller book by Stefan Aunt.

Aunt and the filmmakers say they have paid close attention to detail, including the number of bullets used in each assassination, and tried to make an authentic account of the movement without glorifying the militants.

"If you move from the romantic idea ... into terrorism, you should realize you are kissing goodbye to your own inflated ideas of ethics," Aunt told Reuters.

"I believe they realized the lowliness of their doings," said Aunt, a former editor of Der Spiegel newsweekly.

The Red Army Faction is suspected of murdering 34 people, mainly senior figures in the West German establishment, between 1970 and 1991.

Also known as the "Baader-Meinhof Gang" after founders Andreas Baader and Ulrike Meinhof, the Red Army Faction grew from the left-wing student protests and anti-Vietnam war movements in the late 1960s.   Continued...

<p>German producer Bernd Eichinger attends a news conference to promote the film 'Elementarteilchen' (The elementary particles') shown in competition at the 56th Berlinale International Film Festival in Berlin February 11, 2006. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann</p>