» » Tussilago (2010)

Short summary

31 March 1977 the West German terrorist Norbert Kröcher was arrested in Stockholm suspected of having planned to kidnap Swedish politician Anna-Greta Leijon. During the days following a number of people were arrested. One of them was Kröcher's ex-girlfriend "A". The film tells her story, a personal story told through a mix of live action, animation and interviews.

User reviews

  • comment
    • Author: black coffe
    If you liked Josh Raskins animated short film I Met the Walrus (2007)based on an interview that was made in 1969 by 14 year old Jerry Levitan with John Lennon, you will probably enjoy this one as well.

    The film (or animated short film documentary) is based on interviews made by a woman who claims to have lived with German terrorist Norbert Kröcher (member of the Red Army Faction) in the 1970's Sweden.

    She tells her story with a voice-over, but the visuals are different types of animations styles, actors etc. It's like various types of collages coming to life to tell this story of love, terrorism and politics in 70's.

    Critics to this film would claim that it is a very one dimensional version given because she tells her story without any other person being able to respond to some of her claims.

    But the films main purpose seems to be, to tell the audience how it was to live among political radicals in 70's.

    And as such it's an astonishing piece of work and I wish more could see this short film.
  • comment
    • Author: olgasmile
    The German Red Army Faction was a Marxist Leninist organisation in the 1970s . Taking the Marxist dogma that " Reality is a lie " they considered capitalist democracy to be a veneer hiding latent fascism and once the German proletariat became aware of this fact the working class of Western Germany would rise up and overthrow the regime . This of course never happened and it's interesting West Germany is possibly the only country in the Western world to have totally eliminated terrorist activity without having to sit around a negotiating table . They were helped by the fact the Red Army Faction had zero support amongst the people they were supposedly liberating because simply the meta-physics of Marxism doesn't appeal to the more base elements of human nature in the way religion or nationalism does . This animated film by Swedish film maker Jonas Odell tells the story of Norbert Krocher and his erstwhile girlfriend

    I thought I'd be watching some animated film where the animation was all important but before watching it I did some google research and found out Norbert Krocher was a real person and I'm pretty certain that the woman narrating the film was the real life girlfriend of Krocher who is merely referred to as " A " . This leads to a slight problem towards the end but before that we see the background to the protagonists lives which is no different from a lot of students in Germany from the same period , though a little bit more exciting so to speak as they carry out a bank robbery with guns , a sort of Bonnie and Clyde meets Communist revolution

    Fair enough and you can see the attraction of this lifestyle if not the cause itself . There is a slight fly in the ointment and that is while Krocher plans the kidnap of a Swedish politician A starts getting cold feet and her lack of revolutionary zeal leads to her expulsion from the group . . Despite this she is later arrested and charged with terrorist offences and jailed where she suffers mental breakdown . It's at this point that Comrade A forgets all about the oppressed proles and how she is the real victim of an oppressive state . If you can't do the time don't do the crime and just be thankful you didn't join the British Socialist Workers Party which had so many sexual predators you could confuse it with the BBC
  • comment
    • Author: Nargas
    Two years before I (or anyone else) commented on this short film, the first and only comment took the initiative to dismiss those who suggest the film is weaker because it is only from one person's point of view. Normally when one sees an unprovoked defense of something it is because the individual in question knows of the weakness but has chosen to defend it rather than acknowledge it. To my mind this is the case here because the film being narrated by the main character is indeed a weakness and it is one that impacts the most in the latter stages.

    The true story is about a girl (only called "A" here) who gets involved with a guy who she met at a party who is also a member of an anarchist organization and she falls for him and his rebellious ways. Soon she is being sent to collect weapons caches and it is not too much longer till she participates in a bank robbery. From here as events with Norbert Krocher escalate, she begins to back off, to the point that the group votes to exclude her and she her move out and leave them behind. As a true story that I did not know, it is interesting and well told. The interview narration from whom I presume is the real character in the film is a little rushed and lacking in reflection so much as recollection of events, but it does work. The animation is like a live- action collage and it works well as a scrap-book of memory, with the only downside being for non-Swedes in that it is hard to take it all in while also trying to read the fast moving subtitles.

    The problems with the film do come at the end and they are related to the fact that the film is essentially animating around A's narration and the ending in particular is far too kind to her. We never really get an acknowledgement of what she did wrong and instead she (and the film) focuses on what happened to her in captivity. I am far too liberal to agree with Theo's "if you can't do the time" sentiment, but for sure it seems that the film is all too keen to point out that she had a breakdown and never had to work again and really doesn't tell what time she did for her active involvement in armed robbery and the organization of terrorist activities. The way in which it is presented is also unhelpful, it isn't "while she served the time she understandably had to serve she suffered", it was more a matter of "she suffered this, this and this, during her time in jail" – a subtle difference but a very noticeable one. This impression is added to by the way that the film moves quickly through the story, thus we never really care for A as a person, thus limiting how forgiving we are over what happened.

    Tussilago is a well animated film which tells an interesting story but the weakness of it being told by A and animated to match her input is that the film is very much about her. For the majority this works but in the end it is unjustified in its treatment of the subject and for those not predetermined to ignore or defend this, it will be a problem when you get there.
  • Credited cast:
    Malin Buska Malin Buska - A
    Camaron Silverek Camaron Silverek - Norbert Kröcher
    Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
    Niklas Adolfsson Niklas Adolfsson
    Sofie Adolfsson Sofie Adolfsson
    Anne Ekman Anne Ekman
    Jenny Hansen Jenny Hansen
    Gunnar Johansson Gunnar Johansson
    Sandra Karinsdotter Sandra Karinsdotter
    Mio Karlsson Mio Karlsson
    Michael Lewitzki Michael Lewitzki
    Malin Marmgren Malin Marmgren
    Robert Mellblom Robert Mellblom
    Boris Nawratil Boris Nawratil - (as Boris Navratil)
    Eivor Norberg Eivor Norberg
    Bengt Persson Bengt Persson
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