The last couple of years I have been more and more enthusiastic about archive-based documentaries. When they are built from personal and public archive like Catarina Mouráo´s ”The Wolf’s Lair”, when they work from an intelligent method in portraying ”Senna” and ”Amy” as does Asif Kapadia, when they play with the material and dare reconstruct as do Anders Østergaard and Erzsebet Racz in ”1989” or when they are supplemented by interviews about the fabulous Nina Simone as in the film by Liz Garbus.
So expectations were high when I sat down to watch Périot’s ”A German Youth” that – based mainly on found-footage including several film school films from the dffb, the film school in Berlin, founded in 1966 with an opening speech by Willy Brandt – through archive puts the focus on the 60’es and 70’es rebellion from before, during and till the end of Rote Armeé Fraktion (RAF), also known as the Baader-Meinhof group. Lots of material with Ulrike Meinhof, whose rethoric talent was so great, and films by Holger Meins, and tv newsreels to keep the viewer on the chronological track that the director seems to follow.
No conclusions, thanks for that, but why is it that I found the film totally boring and without soul, and could not find the red thread of the director. Because I have seen enough about RAF and this does not add anything to what I have seen and read? Last time in Berlin in January at the big exhibition that was diffficult because there were too many people, but I bought the catalogue and read it all, excellent. With ”A German Youth” I just thought: Where is the film? Sorry.
France, Germany, Switzerland, 2015, 92 mins.