"Black Box BRD"

Blockbox BRD.jpg

"Der Kampf ist vobei, die Wunden sind offen" ("The battle is over, the wounds are open")

The 2001 German film, "Black Box BRD," is in a documentary form, and it uses the Baader-Meinhof/RAF story as structure. Barry recently found it in a regular Sundance Film Channel email and recorded it. He had thought the human story (one victim and one activist, along with the people who knew them) was fictional and that is what he had told me.

Okay, even if we're both pretty familiar with German history and German culture, maybe our memories for news names and disasters is somewhat wanting, because only after we finished watching the film this evening and did some on-line searching did we find that it was entirely based on fact. It sure makes a difference in how one sees the "actors" if only later do you realize they were playing themselves. Now I find myself running most of the scenes of the film through my mind over and over again.

I thought it was an interesting and pretty successful attempt at making its two historical extremes sympathetic. The Deutsche Bank honcho ends up as an idealist, not so far from where the young revolutionary began, and the revolutionary just may have lost his soul before he died.

But in the end I'm not sure that it makes much difference to my appreciation of the filmmakers' accomplishment whether the characterizations of the two protagonists is accurate or not. Neither Alfred Herrhausen nor Wolfgang Grams are really important as individuals to most of the members of its intended audience. What may matter to us most is the gift of imagining for a moment that the archetypes they represent might be more complex than what is usually presented to us.

[quote appears on the film's website homepage]

About this Entry

Published on December 19, 2004 12:01 AM.

previous entry: Joymore

next entry: today's MTA photo ban protest