If Not Us, Who?

If Not Us, Who?  {Wer wenn nicht wir}
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If Not Us, Who?
Wer wenn nicht wir
Germany, 2011, 124 Minute Running Time
Topics: Drama, History, Political
Program: World Cinema
Language: German English Sub-Titles

Documentarian Andres Veiel (the excellent Black Box BDR) turns to fact-based epic drama to tackle the most dramatic movement in post-WWII German history: the rejection of the past by the young and the rise of the radical left in the 1960s. That he does it through a superbly acted study of the relationship between writer and publisher Bernward Vesper (August Diehl) and future Baader-Meinhoff terrorist Gudrun Ensslin (a mesmerizing Lena Lauzemis) grounds the sweeping events in intimate detail, offering audiences a welcome antidote to the more glamorous and kitschy treatments of the era. Vesper and Ensslin met at university, became lovers, and then dramatically broke when Ensslin fell for the violent radicalism and macho personality of Andreas Baader (Alexander Fehling). As the epoch-defining events of the 60s swirl around them—Vietnam, Black Power, and, at home, the young Germans’ rejection of the status quo and questioning of the establishment’s role in Germany’s Nazi past—Vesper and Ensslin choose radically different routes to effect change, and Veiel does a marvelous job of bringing their tumultuous journeys to the big screen.

DIRECTOR: Andres Veiel
Producer: Thomas Kufus
Editor: Hansjörg Weißbrich
Screenwriter: Andres Veiel
Cinematographer: Judith Kaufmann
Music: Annette Focks
Principal Cast: August Diehl, Lena Lauzemis, Alexander Fehling, Thomas Thieme, Michael Wittenborn
Filmography: The Kick (2006), Addicted to Acting (2004), Black Box BRD (2001), The Survivors (1995) Balagan (1993), Winternachtstraum (1991)
Print Source: The Match Factory - www.the-match-factory.com


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