German director says did not glorify Baader Meinhof

Fri Oct 24, 2008 2:31pm EDT
Email This Article |
Share This Article
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
| Print This Article | Single Page
[-] Text [+]

By Silvia Aloisi

ROME (Reuters Life!) - German director Uli Edel said on Friday he tried to portray both the fascination and horror sparked by the Red Army Faction, the left-wing guerrilla movement at the center of his latest film.

"The Baader Meinhof Complex," screening at the Rome film festival, tells the story of the founding members of the faction and the trail of blood they left behind them in a decade-long campaign of bombings, killings and kidnappings.

The film, shot in a documentary-style and based on a bestselling book by Stefan Aust, has been picked as Germany's entry for best foreign language film at the 2009 Academy Awards.

At home, where it premiered last month, it has rekindled a long-running debate on a bloody chapter of post-Nazi Germany that still haunts the country.

It has also drawn mixed reviews as some critics felt the film glamorized the militants, played by some of Germany's most famous actors, and focused too little on the suffering of the victims and their families.

"My aim was to bring people to face the reality of those years and also show that some of the characters could seem very cool and attractive and then become terrifying," Edel told reporters after a press screening.

"My country has not yet reconciled itself with that period and I hope the film helps the debate," he said.

Aust, whose book is considered a reference work on the guerrilla, added: "This is history but people are still affected by it, as if it happened yesterday or the day before.   Continued...

<p>Director Uli Edel (R), actress Martina Gedeck (C) and actor Moritz Bleibtreu pose during a photo call for their movie "Der Baader Meinhof Complex" (The Baader Meinhof Complex) at the Rome Film Festival, October 24, 2008. REUTERS/Alessandro Bianchi</p>