The film- based on Stefan Aust's book of the same title - presents the German student movements from 1967 to 1970, and the history of the RAF from its inception in 1970 to the deaths of its first generation in the Stammheim maximum-security prison in 1977. Featuring archival footage and dramatic re-enactments, The Baader Meinhof Complex blurs the distinction between documentary and fictional films, thus highlighting the role that cinema plays in shaping our understanding of history. But what type of history of left-wing extremism does the film provide?In 1968, [Gudrun Ensslin] (played by Johanna Wokalek), Andreas Baader (Moritz Bleibtreu) and two others set a Frankfurt department store on fire. Their goal was to "light a torch for Vietnam,""protest against indifference to the war" and against "monopoly capitalism." After a German court ordered the four arsonists to prison in November 1969, Baader and Ensslin fled. In 1970, Baader was pulled over by a police officer and thrown in jail.After the jail break, the group fled to a Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) camp in Jordan. By showing how RAF members insisted the group be housed together- not separated by gender, as its Muslim hosts preferred- and how female RAF members sunbathed nude, the film provides titillation but fails to explore why the group sympathized with the Palestinians and how this sympathy intersected with Germany's fascist past. (This intersection is key with regard to the RAF, given some of the group's overtly anti-Semitic statements in its communiqus.) The solidarity with the Palestinians spanned from its 1970 training at this camp to the 1977 hijacking of a Lufthansa flight bound for Mogadishu, Somalia, by the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine to demand the release of 11 imprisoned RAF members.