Director: Jean-Gabriel Périot
Country: France/Switzerland/Germany
Year: 2015
Running time: 93 min
In German and French with English subtitles

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In the 1960s, the young democracy of West Germany was embarrassed by its Nazi past, and ingrown in its role as imperialist and capitalist outpost faced by its communist double. The postwar generation, in direct conflict with their fathers, was trying to find its place. The student movement exploded in 1966. The pas de deux between students and the government deteriorated, and radicalized those involved in a gradual escalation of violence and reprisals. From this seething youth emerged the journalist Ulrike Meinhof, filmmaker Holger Meins, students Andreas Baader and Gudrun Ensslin, as well as the lawyer Horst Mahler. When the student movement collapsed at the end of ’68, they remained isolated in their radicalism, and desperately sought ways to continue the revolutionary struggle.

A GERMAN YOUTH (Une Jeunesse Allemande) chronicles the political radicalization of some German youth in the late 1960s that gave birth to the Red Army Faction (RAF), a German revolutionary terrorist group founded notably by Andreas Baader and Ulrike Meinhof, as well as the images generated by this story. The film is entirely produced by editing preexisting visual and sound archives and aims to question viewers on the significance of this revolutionary movement during its time, as well as its resonance for today’s society.




Click on thumbnails for hi-res versions or download all stills as one zip file


  • 2/6/15 Berlinale, Berlin, DE
  • 4/25/15 San Francisco Intl. Film Festival, San Francisco, CA
  • 10/10/15 Hamptons Intl. Film Festival, Southampton, NY
  • 12/11,19/15 AFI Silver, Silver Spring, MD
  • 4/19/16 Film Society of Lincoln Center, New York, NY
  • 4/14/17 Harvard Film Archives, Cambridge, MA
  • 3/5,7/17 Gene Siskel Film Center, Chicago, IL
  • 5/22/19 Logan Center for the Arts, Chicago, IL
  • 8/23-29/19 The Beacon Cinema, Seattle, WA
  • Opens 10/11/19 Laemmle's Music Hall, Beverly Hills, CA
  • 10/14-15/19 Laemmle's Royal, West Los Angeles, CA
  • 10/14-15/19 Laemmle's Playhouse, Pasadena, CA
  • 10/14-15/19 Laemmle's Town Center, Encino, CA
  • 10/14-15/19 Laemmle's Claremont, Claremont, CA
  • 10/16/19 Pacific University, Forest Grove, OR
  • 11/13/19 Virginia Military Institute, Lexington, VA
  • 12/6-12/19 Spectacle Theater, Brooklyn, NY - New York Theatrical Premiere!
  • 1/4-19/20 Time & Space, Ltd., Hudson, NY
  • 2/20, 23/20 Cleveland Cinematheque, Cleveland, OH


“Fiendishly researched and smartly constructed, “A German Youth” is a formidable piece of documentary detective work focusing on a small but significant historical moment that continues to matter." - Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times

"A thought-provoking look at the Baader-Meinhof group and the political debates of the era…Fests should take note...Periot (always his own editor) builds his arguments almost invisibly, guiding the viewer while trusting his audience to use their heads. How refreshing to have a director refuse black-and-white conclusions, knowing that formulating questions is the best way to probe the past and its ramifications.” - Jay Weissberg, Variety

“Captivating...Essential for anyone interested in cinema and politics...With no commentary beyond audio clips and visuals composed almost entirely of historical footage, Periot uses the radicals’ own images and words to show how their discourse evolved over ten years from progressive to militant…” - Jordan Mintzer, Hollywood Reporter









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