If Not Us, Who? (2011) Poster

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Shocking story, amazing film!
possibility-girl8 November 2011
Before I went to see this film on film festival "Free Zone" at Belgrade, I knew pretty much nothing about Baader-Meinhof Group. The synopsis sounded rather interesting and I had free evening - so why not? I was really surprised. I don't know how true to events this film is, but it is really effective. I left cinema open mouthed and that means that film done it's job well. Acting is believable and story is easy to follow even for someone who, like me, doesn't know anything about events. It's shocking story but obviously important and I after seeing the film I really got interested in subject.

All in all, I have only good things to say about this film and as for the story itself, I suggest you to watch it all yourself.
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Debates where ideas for extremism and terrorism might come from
OJT20 July 2013
This biographical film about the twin souls Bernward Vesper and Gudrun Enselin, the latter known from the terrorist groups Rote Arme Fraction and Baader-Meinhof, when she later on meets Andras Baader, gives a good explanation to what we might call deranged ideas.

The introduction is when young Bernward just after the war experiences his Nazi father killing his beloved cat because it eats a baby bird fallen den from a nest, explaining it with that a cat is not natural to the birds, and that cats are the Jews of th animal world. Then the film jumps to his time at the inversion, where it's obvious that he is torn between his fathers influence and radical ideas. He meets up with Gudrun, which is equally disturbed, and we follow their collaboration in a publishing if controversial writers, and further on towards terrorist ideas.

In between we get clips of news both from German politics as well as world politics with the Cuban crisis and killing of Kennedy and the Vietnam war, to place both the story in time and history, just done like in a couple of other well known German films. Though the quality if this clips are diverse, it helps in getting the history straight.

It's a good periodical piece, based in the early sixties, down to silly hairstyles. Th film is well played, but I struggled in liking any of the characters, which I find quite necessary to really make a movie like this hit me. I don't know if these persons was possible for other than parents to love, but it doesn't help the story. Maybe it's made that way, for us not to get sympathy with them. How Andreas Baader charmed Gudrun is more obvious here.

Either way, this difficulty in identifying with the main persons really doesn't work to make a masterpiece of a film. The result is only mildly interesting, and only if you like to study and debate the reason of radicalism and even terrorism, here in the basis of troubled thought around not really dealing with the Nazi movement.

Anyway, in today's society we struggle in understanding what makes "normal" people terrorists, and how to foresee and prevent these in developing. If you get an answer here I really don't know, and I still will find it difficult to understand the force to commit terrorist acts.

Well made, but you'll struggle in being engaged. Don't watch this when not ready. This is no action movie,but a slow moving drama with no climax. If you want action, see "The Baader Meihof complex" instead, which starts with the fire bombs in the shopping center, where there's more action. The best is to watch this first and the other after-wards, as complimentary movies.
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kosmasp16 October 2011
While not exactly the same thing as the movie Baader Meinhof (which came out at least a year prior to this), it seems to cut into the same themes. If you watch closer though, you will see, that this a different beast. And while the intentions displayed here are really good (and the narrative is pretty straightforward), it lacks something that I saw in the other movie.

Decent enough effort is being made in telling the story (with the acting supporting this), but in the end something seems to be missing. It is nice seeing a movie being made on that scale in Germany (even though you wish they would have gone another route) and will appeal to quite a few people for sure.
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Ensslin pre-Baader and a forgotten historic figure
Horst_In_Translation20 November 2016
Warning: Spoilers
"Wer wenn nicht wir" or "If Not Us, Who?" is a German movie from 2011, so this one has its 5th anniversary this year. The director and one of the two writers is Andres Veiel and these two hours we have here are certainly his most known effort as a filmmaker. However, the fact that he has not made a new film afterward (yet) shows that he has other fields of profession too in which he is active. His work here received a pretty great deal of awards attention including German Film award nominations for lead actors Diehl and Lauzemis and the movie itself was chosen as the third-best movie of the year back then. And there was awards attention outside the German Film Awards too, but I will not go into detail here as you can check these out on another place too. The perspective to take when watching this film is to find out why it is so interesting. And one of the main reasons is probably the historical context. There are so so many German films that take place during the days of Nazi Germany and also quite a few that take place during the days of RAF terror, but this one is in-between in terms of time. Also it takes place after the days of the "Trümmerfrauen" and the time depicted in this film is actually one that does not get really that much attention, so this alone is already why the approach can be appreciated here. Basically, if you plan on watching "The Baader Meinhof Complex" at some point, then it's a good choice to watch this one here maybe a day earlier, especially because it takes place in the years before that. And this is mostly seen through the depiction of Gudrun Ensslin here, a German terrorist who is still very well-known here today and Lauzemis gives possibly the biggest performance of her career here, especially in terms of awards attention. The male main character is played by August Diehl and Bernward Vesper is really a name that not too many know today anymore, maybe also because he vanished before the most radical days of Ensslin and the RAF. But Diehl once again does a tremendous job and while I was not too impressed by Lauzemis, Diehl steals really every scene he is in. The film is also written pretty interestingly and making a 120-minute movie that has really no lengths at all is quite a success. Rising young actor Alexander Fehling plays Baader, who also plays a major role already in the two protagonists' lives, especially Ensslin's, mostly in the second half of the film. And the cast includes several other really gifted German actors in supporting roles, such as Thieme (personal favorite of mine), Lothar, Wittenborn or Blomberg. And more. This is why the acting and script of this movie were certainly good enough to let me recommend the overall outcome. The only problem I see with the film is that it is extremely bleak from start to finish and deals with a time in German history that may not interest that many and even those who do may end up not really caring for it as it just is not as showy or in your face as "The Baader Meinhof Complex" for example. These two hours here are much much more subtle. But like I already said, I enjoyed the watch, especially Diehl, who once again makes it easy to understand that he is among the very best Germany has to offer in terms of acting these days. His performance is enough already to let me give a thumbs-up here.
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