Legend Of Rita

The Legend Of Rita

2.0 1
Director: Volker Schlöndorff

Cast: Volker Schlöndorff

     
 

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Noted German director Volker Schlondorff helms this riveting exploration of 1970s West German political terrorism. The film opens with Rita (Bibiana Beglau) reminiscing to her unseen friend Tatjana of her life as a radical. Cut to a flashback of her along with her like-minded colleagues robbing a bank. Later while traveling from Beirut to East Berlin, she is carted

Overview

Noted German director Volker Schlondorff helms this riveting exploration of 1970s West German political terrorism. The film opens with Rita (Bibiana Beglau) reminiscing to her unseen friend Tatjana of her life as a radical. Cut to a flashback of her along with her like-minded colleagues robbing a bank. Later while traveling from Beirut to East Berlin, she is carted away for questioning. When the interrogators learn of Rita's vocation, Stasi officer Erwin (Martin Wuttke) releases her and tells her to consult him if she needs help. After she botches the breakout of her boyfriend Andi (Harald Schrott from a West Berlin jail, she calls on her Stasi contact to protect the gang and provide safe passage to Beirut and later to Paris. Tension between the group members -- particularly between Andi and Rita -- soon grow strained. After Rita almost gets arrested for killing a cop, she turns to Erwin, who comes up with a different offer. Rita will stay in East Germany as a working proletarian under an assumed name. While in East Berlin, she befriends Tatjana (Nadja Uhl) who soon becomes her lover. This film was screened at the 2000 Berlin Film Festival.

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Steve Erickson
In the heyday of New German Cinema, director Volker Schlöndorff lurked in the shadow of his peers until making a splash with The Tin Drum. Now that his colleagues have died (Rainer Werner Fassbinder), lost their spark (Wim Wenders), or wound up marginalized (Hans-Jürgen Syberberg, Werner Herzog), his work's modest virtues -- especially its political intelligence, encompassing a matter-of-fact treatment of bisexuality here -- suddenly spring out in bold relief. The Legend of Rita takes a thoughtful look back at two subjects that may be easier to view clearly now: communism and the wave of left-wing terrorism that swept West Germany in the '70s. Rita (Bibiana Beglau) is an East German refugee and member of a radical, unnamed cell operating in West Germany. After she kills a man while trying to free the cell's leader from prison, she takes to ordinary working-class life, essentially because of her belief in the ideals behind communism. She perseveres with a few hippie trappings, while her co-workers realize how little the system actually lives up to its ideological premises. The Legend of Rita eventually coalesces into a film about the counterculture that's rare for being neither a soft-centered nostalgia piece nor a conservative reprimand. Well aware that Rita's violent actions are counterproductive, the movie still finds her naive dreams of improving the world worth honoring. Rather than lament our inability to grasp the past, it shines a clear light on recent history. Kino's DVD adds liner notes by Schlöndorff and screenwriter Wolfgang Kolhaase, as well as a revealing -- if stiffly delivered -- audio commentary by the director.
All Movie Guide
The English title for Die Stille nach dem Schuss is most frequently listed as The Legend of Rita, but sometimes appears as The Legends of Rita, plural, which more accurately distills the most interesting aspect of this film by German director Volker Schlondorff. It's not so much the "legendary" story of a 1970s German political terrorist and the strange events that befall her, but instead a look at her multiple incarnations, or "legends" -- her multiple identities necessary to disguise her from capture. The viewer watches, with a mixture of humor and sorrow, as Bibiana Beglau's Rita continually reinvents her appearance, official papers, place of residence, and place of employment, all to support the fragile security of a political movement that has long since lapsed from her list of priorities. The film captures a strong sense of life as a fugitive, as well as Rita's creeping awareness that she can never expect to experience lasting happiness, or cherish any of her acquaintances longer than a few years. Beglau gives a complex performance, melting from reactionary vigor to the kind of harmless placidity that will help her blend into the scenery -- and, she discovers, may be closer to her true character.

Product Details

Release Date:
06/24/2003
UPC:
0738329039035
Original Release:
2000
Rating:
NR
Source:
Kino Video

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The Legend of Rita 2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
In the manner of "Thunderheart" this is one of those movies that takes a series of true events involving different people and frames them as though they happened to one person. In this case, it takes a female member of one of the Baader-Meinhof/Red Army Faction type of terrorist groups active in Germany during the seventies and eighties. After at least one bank robbery and a bloody prison escape, she seeks asylum in East Germany, where she adopts the life of a typical worker. THe "Legend" of the title refers to the cover story she is given. She learns that the workers aren't thrilled with socialism and that she is far more dedicated to the cause than her coworkers will ever become. The description of the movie states that there is some sort of lesbian/bisexual content to the movie, but other than one kiss on the lips when she is forced to change cover stories, I didn't see anything like this. Too bad, it may have made the movie more interesting. All in all it was disjointed and disappointing, wasting an idea that could have amounted to something.