Germany in Autumn (1978)

This portmanteau film was the collective response of leading German filmmakers to the dramatic Baader-Meinhof terrorist crisis of autumn 1977.

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Prologue (SCHLÖNDOFF/KLUGE) Mourners arrive for the funeral service in Stuttgart of the murdered industrialist Hanns Martin Schleyer. 1. (FASSBINDER) Domestic conflict in Fassbinder's flat; the film-maker abuses his right-wing boyfriend Armin; argues with his mother; telephones friends in agitation; and, fearing a police raid, flushes his cocaine down the lavatory. 2. (KLUGE) Teacher Gabi Teichert ponders the essence of Germany's history; on a newsreel, young Manfred watches the state funeral of his 'murdered' father Field Marshal Rommel. 3. (SCHLÖNDORFF/KLUGE) Schleyer's funeral; an unsuspecting Turk is arrested for carrying a rifle in the street; Mercedes workers observe three minutes' silence. 4.5 (BRUSTELLIN/SINKEL) Franziska Busch rescues a girl from assault in an underground garage in the Olympic Village, Munich. Horst Mahler, suspected co-founder of the Rote Armee Faktion (R.A.F.), speaks about post-war German history to a television interviewer in Moabit Prison, West Berlin. 6. (RUPE/CLOOS) "Shadows of Fear": a "foreigner" injured in a car accident is helped by the apprehensive Branka. 7.8 (BRUSTELLIN/SINKEL) Busch and the TV interviewer listen to the poet-songwriter Wolf Biermann recording a poem in a Munich film studio. The political group to which Busch belongs prepares to make an epic revolutionary film. 9. (REITZ) Iffetzheim, the Franco-German border: Freiermuth, a traveller, and his companion Lisa, have an uneasy conversation with a talkative policeman. 10. (KLUGE) Gabi Teichert again contemplates German history. 11. (MAINKA/SCHUBERT) A division commander lectures his men during the German Army's autumn manoeuvres. 12. (SCHLÖNDORFF/KLUGE) Shots of the surroundings of Stuttgart cemetery. 13. (KLUGE) The Swiss author Max Frisch speaks about democracy at a meeting of the Social Democratic Party in Hamburg. 14. (SCHLÖNDORFF) A television committee debates the perils of screening a version of "Antigone". 15.16. (SCHLÖNDORFF/KLUGE) Manfred Rommel, Mayor of Stuttgart, explains why he authorised the burial in the city's cemetery of Gudrun Ensslin, Jan Raspe and Andreas Baader (who died in Stammheim prison). A crowd attends the interment, and the police make arrests in subsequent scuffles.

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