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The Third Generation

Released Sep 9, 1980 1h 45m Comedy Crime Drama List
92% Tomatometer 12 Reviews 72% Audience Score 250+ Ratings A speculation on Germany's increased security and terrorism. Read More Read Less

Critics Reviews

View All (12) Critics Reviews
Michael Blowen Boston Globe Many people have perceived Fassbinder as merely a social commentator, "The Third Generation" proves he's an artist. Apr 27, 2018 Full Review Richard Brody New Yorker [A] hectic, funny, prismatically intricate political thriller ... Nov 17, 2014 Full Review Jonathan Rosenbaum Chicago Reader Episodic, aurally and visually cluttered, and calculated to irritate, but like most Fassbinder films, worth a second look. Nov 13, 2007 Full Review D.M. Palmer Vague Visages In Fassbinder’s conception of West Germany following its chaotic autumn, terror takes on the tenor of performance art. Nov 9, 2023 Full Review Michael Bronski Gay Community News (Boston) It’s witty and funny, critical and thoughtful. Sep 14, 2022 Full Review Jordi Batlle Caminal El Pais (Spain) ... the film is not dispossessed of Fassbinder's absorbing narrative capacity, here more given to caricature and the unreal tone than usual. [Full review in Spanish] Mar 14, 2018 Full Review Read all reviews

Audience Reviews

View All (16) audience reviews
william k Stylish and dark satire clearly has the director's signature, but the attempt to ridicule both the RAF terrorists as spoilt brats and its victims as manipulative profiteers annihilates any political sting. Rated 3 out of 5 stars 03/31/23 Full Review Audience Member Though episodic and visually cluttered, Fassbinder sets forth the thesis that terrorism and the modern security state feed upon and needed each other in order to exist. He viewed his contemporaries as a lost generation doomed to "act in danger but without perspective." Rated 3.5 out of 5 stars 01/25/23 Full Review Audience Member Over 10 years ago I saw this for the first time and didn't really fully grasp it since it is rather confusing the first time you see it. After reading on forums that people only clicked with it after 2 or 3 views I decided to give it another go and boy: it blew me away. There is a very psychedelci atmosphere because of the weird soundtrack. There is non-stop some kind of noise on the background: often voices of (mostly political) conversations on a tv or a radio. The cinematography is remarkable with often original camera positions and strong use of colour, striking interiors and I like the framing a lot. This is one of only 2 films where Fassbinder did the camerawork himself and he did a fantastic job at it. Die Dritte Generation is a political satire. It's about a terrorist group that is manipulated by the businessman PJ Luez (wonderful role by Eddie Constantine) who wants to sell more anti-terorrist computers to the police, his contactperson at the police is comissar Gerhard Gast (Hark Bohm) who is also involved in the scheme. To make matters even more complicated Gast's son Edgar (Udo Kier) is involved with the terrorists. I especially loved the rol of Raul Gimenez (he also plays in Fassbinder's Lily Marleen), an actor born in Argentina who plays a sexist hitman named Paul. And then there is also a double spy, August, who manipulates the group for his own benefit. Off course Hanna Shygula couldn't be missing as well, she plays a radical named Susanne. With this complex feature Fassbinder shows his dissapointment with what happened to the Rote Armee Fraction, German politics and mostly with the new generation of radicals, who commite crimes without even knowing why they seem to do it, just for the sake of it. Fassbinder refers to them as the Third Generation (the first generation beiing the children of May '68, the Second the R.A.F. and the third the new radicals. After I saw this a second time I now consider it as one of his strongest works and an essential film from the '70s: this is Fassbinder at the pinnacle of his creativity. It is a psychedelic trip with lots of black humour (I found myself laughing out loud during some scenes) but with a lot of food for thought and a superbly written screenplay. A masterpiece! Rated 5 out of 5 stars 02/14/23 Full Review Audience Member A philosophically dense ridicule of terrorists who, rather than rebel against the system, are ultimately used by the system to legitimate itself. Rated 3.5 out of 5 stars 01/13/23 Full Review Alexander W Highly provocative. I fear the third generation. I fear them because I do not understand them. Rated 4.5 out of 5 stars 06/16/12 Full Review Audience Member Feels very incomplete and spotty. Rated 3 out of 5 stars 02/12/23 Full Review Read all reviews
The Third Generation

My Rating


Cast & Crew

Movie Info

Synopsis A speculation on Germany's increased security and terrorism.
Rainer Werner Fassbinder
Rainer Werner Fassbinder
Rainer Werner Fassbinder
Production Co
Pro-ject Filmproduktion [de], Tango Film
Comedy, Crime, Drama
Original Language
Release Date (Theaters)
Sep 9, 1980, Original
1h 45m