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The Third Generation

Die Dritte Generation

Germany, 1979

Written, Directed and Photographed by: Werner Rainer Fassbinder

Principal Cast: Harry Baer, Hark Bohm, Margit Carstensen, Petra Vielhaber, Eddie Constantine, Jürgen Draeger, Raúl Gimenez, Claus Holm, Günther Kaufmann, Udo Kier, Y Sa Lo, Bulle Ogier, Lilo Pempeit, Hanna Schygulla, Volker Spengler, Vitus Zeplichal

Production: Tango Film, Project Filmproduktion

Music: Raben Peer


R. W. Fassbinder
R. W. Fassbinder

About the Film/maker

Fassbinder Retrospective
Third Generation page
Bright Lights Film Journal: Fassbinder
Fassbinder bio
Encarta: Fassbinder

Ich Werfe Keine Bomben
Ich Wache Filme
- RWF

The Third Generation - still

DIE DRITTE GENERATION could refer to the current generation of terrorists if we were to agree that a first and second generation have already existed. The first generation would be those who went more or less "mad" in a combination of idealism, excessive sensitivity and almost pathological despair over their own impotence over the system and its representatives.

The second generation would then be those who defend the first generation out of understanding for their motives, in many cases quite literally "defending" them as they included several "real" attorneys ... Everyone can feel something like understanding for the actions and motives of the first and second generation of terrorists - or maybe not, of course - but it very much more difficult to understand the motives of the third generation.

In fact, it is perhaps even impossible from the point of view of the two preceding generations, for it seems to me that the third generation of terrorists have less in common with their predecessors than with this society and its violence, whoever is supposed to benefit by it. I am certain that they do not know what they are doing and that the only point in their doing is the actual doing itself, the seemingly exciting danger, a seeming adventure in this system with its (admittedly) frighteningly more perfect administration. Acting in danger, but without any perspectives, adventures experienced almost in a drunken stupor: that is what motivates the "third generation".

The fact that this phenomenon is only found in our country is naturally due to the country itself, its faults and failures, its gift of democracy which, like a gift horse, should never be looked in the mouth.