Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Interview with Moritz Bleibtreu and Martina Gedeck - October 27th, 2008

Promoting: The Baader-Meinhof Complex
Venue: The Sofitel Hotel, London Film Festival
Interview type: Round table

Q: You must both have been very young when the events of the film took place. What do you remember about that time?

Moritz Bleibtreu (MB): I don't recall anything about this time. I recall the wanted posters in the post office and the strange haircuts and colours, but that's about it. I first started getting into it when I was going to shoot this movie. I knew the hard facts, but all the detailed stuff, it was wow, wow wow all the time.

Martina Gedeck (MG): I was very young, I didn't know what it was . I know that there were a lot of riots in Berlin and demonstrations, which frightened me. I never went to them, but some of my friends went to fight for -- I don't know what.

Q: How have people reacted to the film?

MB: Recently I spoke to some American friends of mine who just saw the movie and they can hardly believe it's a true story. We didn't exaggerate any of it. It happened like that. Just look at what these people kicked off. Especially if you look at it at this time. Germany was, in fact, quite a calm country. I mean yes, we had to face the fact that your postman might have been affiliated with the SS. So there was still this strange situation where one generation would fight the next one because there was huge conflict involved. But on a daily, basic level, Germany was quite a quiet country at this time. The country was rich, unemployment was not really an issue and you could do basically what you wanted. But still these guys started a war. They declared war on a state, which was so strange. If I looked at Germany right now, for instance, you have a big financial crisis, unemployment is everywhere, people don't really have options for their lives. It's hard to find something for them, so on every street corner I see ten more reasons to start a revolution today and nobody does anything any more. I think this is the important thing about this film. It's about a time when people did believe in the possibility of change. They really believed they could change something. I think this is something that got lost. I think the younger generation has a hard time believing they can change something.

Q: What conclusions did you reach about why Ulrike Meinhof thought she could effect change through violence?

MG: I think she just had these ideals, especially the post-nazi generation had their own ideals. To have an ideal, to believe in an idea and devote your life to it, these were the same ideas, it just repeated it from the other side. But it's the same, it's left radical versus the right radical. To lose your own human instinct and follow the idea. They continued it. It was like Che Guevara, it was Mao, it was all these people. And they had their systems and their theories and took what they wanted . They thought they had to confront violence with violence to overthrow (the system).

Q: Can you understand why they did what they did?

MB: Why they did what they did? No. Once the violence got involved, once people died then no, I cannot relate to that. I think that it's never going to work out. Trying to change something by killing somebody else, I think only one thing will be changed and that is yourself, because you will become a murderer. That means that you give away the most important part of yourself and that's your humanity. You will never change the world by a war or by violence, I don't believe in that. But the original ideas and ideals were very noble and very smart and they still are. It's just the how that doesn't work. Violence will never be an answer to that.

Q: Did you feel a lot of pressure in portraying Ulrike?

MG: I felt a lot of pressure towards Ulkrike Meinhof. I don't really care about the reception, or criticism from people who were there. I knew that I couldn't be her, I just had to show some aspect of her character. As the British say, I learn my lines and try not to bump into the furniture. In a way I felt responsible, which is the difficulty: not to judge or interpret too much. I wanted to show what happened and other people should make up their minds about her.

Labels: , , , , ,


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home