If not us, who? (Wer wenn nicht wir)
Germany in the 1960s – a generation of students born during the war wants to change the remains of the fascist ideology in the new republic. ‘IF NOT US, WHO? (WER WENN NICHT WIR)’the latest film by documentary director Anders Veiel (DER KICK, BLACK BOX BRD), creates an explanation for one of Germany’s darkest chapters since World War II.
Based on the biography ‘Vesper, Ensslin, Baader’, the film tells the story of the raising communistic extremism of Gudrun Enssslin (Lena Lauzemis), long before she founded the RAF (Rote Armee Fraktion) together with Andread Baader (Alexander Fehling). The RAF was a terroristic group of German students that was responsible for several bombings and assassinations in the 1960s and 70s.
Before this crisis began, Ensslin was just an ordinary student with a passion for literature and the will to change the remains of Germany’s old ideology. When she met Bernward Vesper (August Diehl), the son of a former Nazi poet, they decided to become publishers for unknown or critical literature. First they shared their ideologies, but as the world became darker during the Cold War, the gap between them grew wider and wider.
‘IF NOT US, WHO?’ shows an interesting insight in the background of the characters during this crisis. The fascinating character development of Ensslin and Vesper is occasionally interrupted by short original footage of that time’s incidents. A well directed and played film, fit for anyone interested in German history, at best with some previous knowledge on the subject.