"The Baader-Meinhof Complex" – film makers inaccurate

Discussion in 'Military History and Militaria' started by No.9, Jan 9, 2009.

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  1. The German film made last year appears to be in new trouble as the family of murdered Jürgen Ponto, (then head of Dresdner Bank), has taken action against the makers over historical inaccuracy. – per a BBC News report.

    The claim apparently is the film depicts his wife being elsewhere when her husband was killed when she was actually in their home and witnessed the murder. If the family are successful in court, it’s believed copies of the film on release will remain that way but DVD issues and TV transmissions will have to have the scene cut or re-filmed.

    Fair to say many/most involved with making the film are not actually old enough to have personal or significant personal memories of the RAF era, and perhaps feel justified that they can term their film ‘historical’ in true ‘Hollywood’ treatment of yesterday’s events? However, perhaps, just perhaps, if Ponto’s family are successful it would be wonderful if this sets a precedence whereby ALL filmmakers will have to ensure when they serve up something on the premise of it being ‘historical’ or ‘the true story of’, they will at least have to portray acknowledged facts or a significant view where there is ambiguity. :wink:

    At time of posting I can’t find an on-line report, though presumably these will appear. For some overall background try http://www.spiegel.de/international/germany/0,1518,582894,00.html

  2. Yes, I'm looking forward to the rash of films in which the Americans save the world economy, instead of fouling it up....
  3. It's a big problem at the moment, no9.
    Not only do the film makers make little errors in their films, they can also be accused of "gloryfying" the terrorists. I apologise for not having seen the film, but I have seen reports of rows because the actors playing the terrorists are all young and beautiful, whereas the victims are old and don't strike heroic poses.
    Baader Meinhof/RAF must be the most straightforward, obviously wrong, and evil group of halfwits this side of the Manson Family. Set up by the Staasi to murder civilians for the crime of living in a free country.
    And yet ex-members crop up in the German education system, and their links extend throughout left wing politics. Now the cnuts are made to look like Bonnie and Clyde in a movie. (possibly funded by the taxpayer?)
    In Britain we taxpayers fund movies supporting the IRA, the US has a new president with links to Bill Ayers' terror group.
    We won the war against the Socialists. We don't appear to be contesting the peace.
    My suggestion; a taxpayer/FilmFour production gloryfying Herrick.IV.
  4. If only they had been made to look like Bonnie and Clyde...

  5. gennithmedic - "Not only do the film makers make little errors in their films, they can also be accused of "gloryfying" the terrorists."

    I'm sure they always have made 'little errors' and will continue to do so, if for no other reason than there is usually, perhaps inevitably, more than one take (no pun intended) on various aspects. However, in this case we are dealing with history within living memory, meaning you can consult people who were there and evaluate their testimony.

    I do not believe the filmmakers claimed to have made an educational documentary, however the film was promoted as factual, meaning, if not at least implying, it can be viewed for knowledge/education of what occurred.

    The filmmakers of course, are not making a film as a public service but to make money and further their career/status/fee capability. Then again there’s always the argument of ‘poetic license’, ‘artistic discretion’ and ‘luvvies liberty’, meaning they believe they have a right to make/insert/delete whatever for the sake of a better storey/film. And of course, controversy can and often does raise profile and sells the product further.

    Strangely, IMHO, fact can often be more impressive that fiction, but requires more research, better understanding, and, the luvvies in the editing suite being over-ruled by competent historians. 8O

    There have been many cases where individuals have been brought to public notice for criticising a ‘true story’ film over fabrication and/or misrepresentation of events which they were personally party to. Apart from further publicity for the film, usually nothing more comes of it. On this occasion the incident may not mean that much to Joe Public but it does to the family, and, on this occasion the family are wealthy enough to do something about it. Good on them, I hope they succeed and moreover I hope this does have repercussions on filmmaking. :thumright:

  6. Cricky, the new Zulu will be interesting.
  7. But probably nowhere near an accurate version of the Battle of Ulundi. :wink:


  8. Ah No 9
    Must admit that I was not familiar with the Battle of Ulundi.
    Thought for a moment you where doing a Blackadder on me.
    However I looked it up and now have The British Battles web site in my Bookmarks.
    Thank you.
    Strangely I do have a unread copy of 'The Washing of the Spears' by Donald R Morris on my bookshelf.
    I was having a drink in the Chiang Mai Gymkhana Club and a member insisted that I borrow the copy from their library.
  9. My bold.

    Dont forget that the stasi provided the escape route for the bader meinhof gang and the french lot plus if any irish slime were in west germany they were also provided comfy plane rides to syria and/or lybia FOR MANY YEARS.....How do you think they all new each other????????????????????

    All the terrorists in west germany traveled on GENUINE passports, OF ANY NATIONALITY.

    The stasi had more people working for the West german gobment than honest west german fcukwits. In some states in complete control of the passport and local id/local residensce identification stamps.
  10. Changing the film when sued by parties who want to ensure accuracy is an interesting concept.

    I understand a remake of "Dambusters" is in the works. I hope it is accurate.

    What will they name the dog?
  11. jonwilly - "Must admit that I was not familiar with the Battle of Ulundi. Thought for a moment you where doing a Blackadder on me."

    Nay Jon, no pull of the leg this time. Perhaps you could win a few Changs asking folk to name the end game battle of the Zulu wars? I imagine Rorke’s Drift would be known and probably Isandlwana, but not the glorious Ulundi where the enemy were utterly poggered. :wink:

    Reading through the piece on British Battles.com, I wonder if the figures say it all? In past notes of mine I’d put down the actual battle square comprised approx. 5,300 men on foot, 900 mounted, plus cannon and Gatling crews, bearers Coy and Natal Pioneers. In all, way less than the 17’000 quoted in the article, probably about 10K less? I also have Zulu figures at over 20K, out of a potential 40K which might have been deployed.

    Very fair point about the film ‘Zulu’. As thrashed out several times on threads here, the film retains the basic plot but plays about with many of the characters. However, all the men are portrayed as valiant so hopefully descendants of Henry Hook and others aren’t too put out by the colourful license taken? That said, if there were to be a totally accurate remake made, given the events would have to be compressed into a couple of hours, there’s still plenty of material for one of the ultimate war films.

    Must say I could never see the point of making ‘Zulu Dawn’ (Isandlwana) after ‘Zulu’? Was this a PC apology to Zulus? After all there wasn’t a full field combatant force there but a supplies base left behind by the main columns. I think there were less than a thousand British there, stretched over something like a mile and a half? Better they should have made a film about Ulundi. :wink:

  12. DavidBOC - "I understand a remake of "Dambusters" is in the works. I hope it is accurate. What will they name the dog?"

    Well, isn't Stephen 'Duchess' Fry doing the script? Why not write to her at the BBC and ask? :lol: