At bottom Margarethe von Trotta’s German film, Marianne and Juliane, is a bore, just ultra-leftist or radical enough not to condemn a woman who has gone from activism to terrorism in the (figurative) war to end Third World agony, and even in 1981, the year of the film’s release, was such ultra-leftism ludicrous. The terrorist in question is Marianne (Barbara Sukowa), and although von Trotta probably prefers the merely social, not terrorist, activism of Marianne’s sister Juliane (Jutta Lamp), it is abhorrent that she seems little bothered by Marianne’s bombs. How boring this is; we’ve lived with such sentiments for many years now. And it doesn’t improve matters that Marianne is such a bland character.
(In German with English subtitles)