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Germany nabs ‘Baader’ for Oscars

Constantin's terrorist drama to be award entry

BERLIN — Uli Edel’s terrorist drama “The Baader Meinhof Complex” has been selected as Germany’s candidate for the foreign-language film Oscar.

Perhaps the most anticipated German film of the year, the pic, produced by Constantin Film’s Bernd Eichinger, is based on Stefan Aust’s true account of the rise and fall of the notorious left-wing Red Army Faction terrorist group, also known as the Baader-Meinhof gang after its leaders, Andreas Baader and Ulrike Meinhof.

“The excellent performance and extraordinary realization of the story provides a view of the Federal Republic of Germany of the early 1970s without glorifying the perpetrators,” said the nine-member independent jury, which selected the film from a short list of five nominees.

The RAF plunged West Germany into a state of siege throughout the 1960s and ’70s through bombings and shootings and even joined forces with the PLO in the hijacking of aircraft.

The group’s legacy still casts a shadow over Germany, not just due to the terror it caused but also because of the considerable support it had from Germany’s liberal left — a fact that has made the story of the RAF a complicated subject for journalists, historians and filmmakers. “The Baader Meinhof Complex” is no exception.

“Uli Edel and I are very happy,” said Eichinger. “We put a lot of energy into this film and are very proud to be competing for German film in the Oscar race.”

Los Angeles-based Summit Entertainment is handling international sales for the film, which has already sold in all major territories worldwide.

Pic, which premieres Tuesday in Munich, hits local theaters Sept. 25.

The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences will announce its nominees for foreign-language film on Jan. 22. The Academy Awards ceremony takes place Feb. 22.

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