Coming to VOD via Mubi tomorrow, Friday, October 27:
A GERMAN YOUTH
IDFA, Art of the Real, Cinéma du Réel, Visions du Réel, BAFICI, San Francisco, IndieLisboa, Docaviv, Moscow, Transilvania, Melbourne, Sarajevo, Bergen, Hamptons, New Horizons
A rich portrait of key members of the Red Army Faction, composed entirely through found footage.
Without offering explicit condemnation or valorization, Périot chronicles the shift of the Baader-Meinhof group from intellectual debate to violent revolution through a progression of talk show appearances, political student films, protest footage, and news reports, grounding their evolution within the larger public debate in the mid-1960s that saw the younger generation referenced in the film’s title question authority of the previous generation, one tinged with a Nazi past that they had not yet openly addressed. The film identifies key RAF figures like journalist Ulrike Marie Meinhof, artists Andreas Baader and Gudrun Ensslin, attorney Horst Mahler, and filmmaker Holger Meins, among others, before their later radicalization, as they reflected the growth of progressive far-leftist movements around Germany and the world and took on symbols of the establishment, such as Axel Springer and his monopoly on the news media. As Périot artfully charts their move to increasing militancy, he engages with fundamental questions which position these figures as revolutionaries to some, terrorists to others, and which resonate with the modern day.