Bandits (1997)

"Excellent"

Bandits (1997) Review


Foreign films often have a unique and powerful way of facing controversial issues. The most recent example comes from Germany, which has created a movie so audacious in its statement of women's liberation, that it makes the much-scrutinized themes of Thelma and Louise feel like child's play. Despite subtitles, unfamiliar faces, and a somewhat taboo motif, Bandits is sure to have tremendous crossover appeal with American audiences.

Directed by Katja von Garier, Bandits chronicles four German fugitives and their passion for rock n' roll as they attempt to evade the law and flee the country. Their odyssey takes this all girls rock band (hence The Bandits) from rehearsal at the prison church to performing in front of thousands as they garner Mickey and Mallory-esque attention through their adventures as outlaws on the run. Their experiences and emotions are conveyed in their music, which serves as a link between their depraved sense of humanity and newfound freedom.

The less you know about the film going into it the more enjoyable it will be, so if you hear anyone talking about it, do yourself a favor and cover your ears.

The cast is fabulous and the best part is that you've never seen these actors in any other roles, unless of course, you're from Germany. How often can you say that about an American film? For all I knew it was the German Sharon Stone and Tom Cruise on screen, but none of that mattered, because I was focusing solely upon characters rather than well-publicized canned images.

Don't let the fact that this is a women's lib film deter you. The excellent soundtrack is all in English. The cinematography and the action are fantastic, and trust me when I say that the themes of female autonomy are not at all overbearing and only add to the nostalgia of the movie.

Find out which small theater in your neighborhood is playing this film and check it out. It's well worth the effort.

Are you ready to rock???

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