The year 2008 featured two films about revolutionaries in protest, with Steven Soderbergh’s CHE and Steve McQueen’s HUNGER, based on Che Guevara and Bobby Sands respectively. Both films were ambitious in their own right, taking historical figures and using their lives, not for conventional biopic storytelling and to question their places in history, but as pretexts about the experiences and ideals of their respective times. The films weren’t so much about why, but about the how; interpretations about the images and politics left to the viewer based on emotionalism as much as the idealism; as if to live them is to further understand them. Uli Edel’s DER BAADER MEINHOF KOMPLEX, a 2008 German film that retells the early years of the West German terrorist group Red Army Faction (RAF) at the time of the German student movement to the German Autumn (Deutscher Herbst) in 1977, doesn’t attempt to do what Soderbergh and McQueen did. Edel’s choices are sometimes superior, but other times painfully inferior.

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