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give the raspberry

The Raspberry Reich

The Raspberry Reich is a 2004 film by director Bruce LaBruce which explores what LaBruce calls "terrorist chic", cult dynamics and the power of homosexual expression . It is about a contemporary terrorist group who set out to continue the work of the Red Army Faction (RAF), also known as the Baader-Meinhof Gang. The group consists of several young men, and a female leader named Gudrun (after Gudrun Ensslin). All of the characters are named after original members of the Baader-Meinhof Gang, or other revolutionaries such as Che Guevara.

They call themselves the "Sixth Generation of the Baader-Meinhof Gang" and "The Raspberry Reich". "Reich" is a reference to communist sexologist Wilhelm Reich. An "uncut" version of the film has been released, titled The Revolution Is My Boyfriend, edited by the gay pornographic film company Cazzo Film including erotic scenes edited out in the original version.

Plot

The core plot begins with the kidnapping of Patrick, the son of a wealthy industrialist. Sexual and romantic engtanglements push the drama forward. At the film's climax, Gudrun delivers a soliloquy on the importance of personal life in revolution. She puts particular emphasis on the breaking of heterosexual and possessive sexual norms, urging her comrades to join "The Homosexual Intifada".

The pressure of Gudrun's controlling personality causes the group to break up. Most of the urban guerrillas escape into the night. In the dénouement, the characters are visited some time later. Several have found happiness in the homosexual relationships established during their revolutionary activities. Che has become a terrorist trainer in the Middle East. Patrick escapes with Clyde, where they embark on a spree of bank robberies. This action is reminiscent of Patty Hearst's actions with the SLA. Gudrun and Andreas settle down and have a child named Ulrike (after Ulrike Meinhof), whom Gudrun believes could embody the next generation of the Red Army Faction.

Style

The film's style is propagandistic. The actors are placed in rooms wallpapered with photographs of Gudrun Ensslin, Ulrike Meinhof, Andreas Baader, and Che Guevara. This symbolises the historical connection to the RAF. At several points during the film, the action pauses while the characters recite long passages from Vaneigem's The Revolution of Everyday Life, as though they are speaking from their own thoughts. Onscreen titles are also used to convey and enhance political messages.

Pornography plays a large visual role in the film. The opening sequence is an extended montage of sexual activity (some of it unsimulated), as is the film's climactic scene.

Slogans

Slogans are used to convey the politics of the Raspberry Reich. They are both and extension and parody of the slogans used by political organisations. Some slogans used in the film:

  • "The Revolution is my boyfriend!"
  • "Fuck me up against the wall, motherfucker!"
  • "Fuck me for the Revolution!"
  • "Are you revolutionary enough to give up your girlfriends?" (Question originally asked at a Weather Underground conference counterposing sexuality and revolution, in the context of Raspberry Reich it counterposes hetero and homosexuality.)
  • "Join the homosexual intifada!"
  • "No revolution without sexual revolution. No sexual revolution without homosexual revolution."
  • "Out of the bedrooms into the streets!" - chanted while engaged in sexual activity
  • "Heterosexuality is the opiate of the masses"
  • Declaring things to be counter revolutionary: "Corporate hip hop is counter revolutionary!"; " Madonna is counter revolutionary"; "Cornflakes are counter revolutionary"; "Masturbation is counter revolutionary".

Humour

Humour is employed to explore the gap between reality and ideal in the terrorist world. For example, after the kidnapping is complete, the terrorists who are sworn vegetarians for political reasons ("meat is counter revolutionary") visit Burger King, a multinational corporate fast food chain.

See also

References

External links

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