Hauff's reconstruction of the Baader-Meinhof trial is the most honourable shot at tackling the terrorism conundrum since Fassbinder's The Third Generation. Cast with lookalikes and using the trial transcripts as the basis for its script, it ploughs through the issues with almost hysterical intensity, comparing the fanaticism of the defendants with the unthinking brutality of the court. More controversially, it also imagines ideological arguments between Baader, Meinhof, Ensslin and Raspe in the 'privacy' of their cells, citing 'letters and prison reports' as its sources. The film ultimately fails, because its scrupulously liberal stance prevents it from developing any coherent point of view of its own. But as a microcosm of West German society tearing itself apart at the seams, it's one hell of a lot tougher than the kind of earnest socio-political dramas that the BBC and C4 tend to produce.
Cast and crew