This Rainer Werner Fassbinder movie is set at the end of the 1970s when the Revolutionary Cells were in disarray after Entebbe and the cadres of the second generation of the Red Army Faction were a spent force – hence the title.
A German industrial has a secret plan to boost sales of security-related computer systems. A double agent activates a dormant cell of middle-class left-wing activists, including: Susanne Gast (Hanna Schygulla), an executive secretary; Hilde Krieger (Bulle Ogier), a feminist professor; and Petra Vielhaber (Margit Carstensen), a banker’s wife.
When people start to die they adopt amateurish disguises and rob a bank to finance their activities. They kidnap the industrialist during a carnival – hence the clown disguise – and video-tape him in a basement; he smiles, believing it to be all part of his scheme – it is unclear whether he is right.
Anni Nöbauer was the makeup artist.