Armed with a perverse sense of humor and beautiful cinematography, Rainer Werner Fassbinder's The Third Generation follows the exploits of a group of German terrorists. Much of the film takes place in a single building, with Fassbinder examining their strange antics as the group strategically plans their next move. The Third Generation is another fascinating film in Fassbinder's phenomenal film canon that demonstrates how truly one-of-a-kind this filmmaker was. The film has so much energy and craft that I found myself completely engaged in its narrative before even capable of fully grasping what its about or where its intentions lay. This is a film that immerses the viewer in the experience from the early going, making them put the pieces together instead of force-feeding it to the viewer. Surely an incredibly controversial film on its release, The Third Generation is a dazzling, provocative, somewhat ambiguous film that is sure to create discussion long after its end credits. The Third Generation is a film bristling with ideas, but the film's greatest attribute is how it displays the circular nature of terrorism. This group of terrorists create more and more havoc as the film progresses but the more they seemingly accomplish, the more government restrictions appear, further tightening their grip on any and all radical thought. Fassbinder is not interested in taking sides in this film but rather showing the endless cycle of such conflict in a way that is both humorous and intellectually profound. The Third Generation is an experience that also answers the age old question as to whether Udo Kier looks good as a cross-dresser.
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