Farm-Fresh balanceYMMVTransmit blueRadarWikEd fancyquotesQuotes • (Emoticon happyFunnyHeartHeartwarmingSilk award star gold 3Awesome) • RefridgeratorFridgeGroupCharactersScript editFanfic RecsSkull0Nightmare FuelRsz 1rsz 2rsz 1shout-out iconShout OutMagnifierPlotGota iconoTear JerkerBug-silkHeadscratchersHelpTriviaWMGFilmRoll-smallRecapRainbowHo YayPhoto linkImage LinksNyan-Cat-OriginalMemesHaiku-wide-iconHaikuLaconic

The Baader Meinhof Complex (German: Der Baader Meinhof Komplex) is a 2008 German film by Uli Edel. The film is based on the 1985 German best selling non-fiction book of the same name by Stefan Aust. It retells the story of the early years of the West German far-left extremist group the Red Army Faction (German: Rote Armee Fraktion, or RAF).

The film was an Academy Award and Golden Globe nominee for Best Foreign Language Picture, but lost to the Japanese film Departures and the Israeli film Waltz with Bashir respectively.

The Baader Meinhof Complex provides examples of:

  • Action Duo: Andreas Baader and his girlfriend, Gudrun Ensslin. Later Brigitte Mohnhaupt and Peter Boock.
  • Action Girl: All the women in the RAF can count as this.
  • Avenging the Villain
    • After Petra Schelm's death, the RAF move from committing bank robberies and start bombing corporate targets and U.S. military installments.
    • The RAF's second generation believe their acts are avenging the alleged extrajudicial executions of their imprisoned members.
  • Bathtub Bonding: Gudrun gets to know a young Peter Boock this way.
  • Berserk Button: Question any of Baader's reasoning or methods.
  • Butt Monkey: Ulrike Meinhof. Her husband cheats on her. She loses her children after attempting to ship them to an orphan camp in Jordan. Gets arrested. Ostracized by other members of the RAF, especially Gudrun. Eventually commits suicide.
  • Courtroom Antics: Baader and company tend to pull these off in every trial they're involved in.
  • Curb Stomp Battle: The RAF against Hanns-Martin Schleyer's bodyguards. In the previous scene, the RAF even discuss how the bodyguards are highly trained and battle-hardened. The RAF kill all four of Schleyer's bodyguards before they even fire back and successfully kidnap Schleyer.
  • Dragon Ascendant: The second generation of the RAF, led by Brigitte Mohnhaupt and Peter Boock.
  • Driven to Suicide
    • After being ostracized by her fellow RAF members, Meinhof becomes depressed and hangs herself in her cell.
    • After authorities thwarted the hijacking of Lufthansa Flight 181, which the PLO took over in hopes of releasing the imprisoned RAF members, Baader, Ensslin and Jan-Carl Raspe committed suicide. Irmgard Moller tried to, but survived.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Baader and the imprisoned leaders of the first generation of the RAF are appalled by the second generation putting innocent lives in harm's way.
  • Five-Bad Band
  • Force Feeding: When the first generation of the RAF is initially imprisoned, they decide to go on hunger strike. Holger Meins is force-fed through a tube. He dies anyway..
  • Foregone Conclusion
  • From Nobody to Nightmare: Andreas Baader. Also Peter, originally an escapee from a juvenile detention center, rises through the ranks to become a leader of the RAF's second generation.
  • Heroic BSOD: The second generation when they learn that the original leaders were not executed as they were lead to believe.
  • Hey, It's That Guy!: Grey Ghost leads a gang of urban terrorists and Hitler methodically takes them down while his secretary is fighting on their side.
  • Hollywood Driving: Baader, Ensslin, Peter Boock and company speed down the Autobahn, swapping cigarettes between cars and shooting at highway signs.
  • Large Ham: Many characters have their ham moments, but Andreas by far takes the cake.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: One of the terrorists was a family friend of Jurgen Ponto's family and wanted only to kidnap him. Ponto fights back and is killed.
  • Not What I Signed Up For: Played straight at the training camp in Jordan, when Baader is frustrated by the lack of training for urban terrorism.
  • Police Brutality
  • Pretty Little Headshots: Petra Schelm takes one right below the eye.
  • Punch Clock Villain: Baader calls out Horst Mahler, a lawyer sympathetic to the RAF, on this.
  • Pyrrhic Villainy: Especially with the first generation. Shown in a montage where news of attacks by the RAF are played alongside news of RAF members being captured.
  • Taking the Kids: Meinhof's estranged husband, with the help of Peter Homann and Stefan Aust (the author of The Baader Meinhof Complex), took his daughters from Sicily to prevent Ulrike from sending them to an orphan camp in Jordan.
  • There Is No Kill Like Overkill: Pretty much every assassination, kidnapping and attempted kidnapping the second generation of the RAF does counts as this.
  • Villainous Breakdown: The RAF goes through this as the film progresses, as their attacks become more and more violent, and less focused on fighting for the causes the organization was founded upon.
  • Villain Protagonist: The RAF against what they view as an imperialistic, corporate, ex-Nazi dominated police state.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: As portrayed in the film, the founders of RAF (especially Meinhof) genuinely believed that they lived in a fascist state and that their actions would help liberate the oppressed peoples of the world. The film also portrays a good portion of the German people as sympathetic to the RAF's cause and open to sheltering members.
  • West Germany
Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.