documentary, world | NR | 1hr 33min
Opening at GFC: 04/19/2017
Jean-Gabriel Périot’s brilliant debut feature about the traumatic years of German leftist terrorism and unrest is a film dense with questions about the legacy of Nazism, the role of government, the duty of intellectuals, and the responsibilities of the media. Entirely relying on archival footage including journalist Ulrike Meinhof’s mesmerizing appearances on talk shows, agitprop student films by future terrorists, and TV news reports of bombings, hijackings and kidnappings, A GERMAN YOUTH charts the tragic course of a generation of intellectuals and artists whose radical critique of society foundered in armed violence in the 1970s. Avoiding any explanatory voiceover or text, Périot immerses the viewer in a dangerous but fascinating time when the line between right and wrong wavered and Germany was brought to a standstill by leftist terrorism. The film climaxes with an extraordinary clip from Rainer Werner Fassbinder’s Germany in Autumn, putting the emotion back into politics after putting the politics back into film.
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