The Terrorists (Die Terroristen)

Director: Philip Gröning
Screenwriters: Michael Busch, Ralf Zoller

Institute History

  • 1993 Sundance Film Festival


While there are several other films on terrorism, they've usually been exploitative and/or reductive psychological portraits which confirm the audience's belief that terrorists are either unbalanced or ideological fanatics. Though the starting point of Philip Groning's second feature remains the artificial world of the modern ·revolutionary: his quasi-documentary raises more questions about motivations, roles, and the implications and effects of political actions than we might anticipate.

The story begins in Germany at the time of reunification. Claudia, Jurgen and Micha, all in their twenties, have decided to murder a top statesman, whom they judge has warped the idealized potential of the concordance.

The film's chapters (plus an epilogue) detail in hyperrealist fashion the minute preparation and execution of their plan. Very dynamically structured and shot, the scenario alternates between film and video, setting up a point of view which neither condemns nor condones. The film is never political or ideological, appearing to be less about terrorism, and more about making an impact in a post ideological world. Perhaps the psychological archetypes of the new Europe cannot be fully understood until we've experienced the contradictions of a world which has changed so dramatically that nothing is black and white.

Monday Jan 25 3:00 pm
Prospector Square Theatre

Saturday Jan 3O 10:15 pm
Holiday Village Cinema II


— Geoffrey Gilmore

Screening Details

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