The Raspberry Reich (2004)


Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BB

Germany/Canada, 2004.  Jürgen Brüning Filmproduktion.  Screenplay by Bruce La Bruce.  Cinematography by .  Produced by .  Production Design by .  Costume Design by .  Film Editing by .  Toronto International Film Festival 2004.  

A group of modern-day political insurgents take inspiration from the Baader Meinhoff crew, tearing through Berlin in the hopes of winning people over to their cause.  The revolution is open sexuality: masturbation is counter-revolutionary, the most important thing is to remove the bourgeois stink of monogamy or sexual orientation from intercourse and encourage the partaking of physical pleasure with all those around you.  The woman at the centre of the group keeps strict control over the men she encounters, most of whom she orders to have sex with each other when she is not enjoying them herself (“The revolution is my boyfriend!”).  Their plan to break through to the masses is to kidnap the son of a wealthy industrialist in the hopes of getting the world’s attention while making him their own Patty Hearst.  Sounds like a rollicking good time, and the explicit sexuality should make it that much more rebellious in nature, but Bruce La Bruce once again shows little talent for narrative drive and none of the charismatic sauciness of Rosa von Praunheim films that he could be emulating.  La Bruce films sexuality in his usual exploitative but rushed and humorless manner, erect penises in full operational mode that no one on screen is properly depicted enjoying.  It’s as if he wants to be provocative but fears sticking around long enough to get any negative feedback for it, and so the film fails both as a parody on the rebelliousness of the most privileged generations in the history of the western world, and as an indulgence in testing the boundaries of ripe imagery in cinema.

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