At this year’s Film Neu, D.C.’s annual German-language film festival, one obvious selection was curiously absent. The Baader Meinhof Complex, a steely adaptation of Stefan Aust’s account of the 1970s radical leftist movement in Germany, had just received an Academy Award nomination for Best Foreign Language Film, but the organizers were unable to secure rights to show it. Its lone D.C. screening so far was back in February at National Geographic’s Global Glimpse series; the Goethe Institute will show the film a few days before it opens officially on Sept. 11. The film re-creates a tenuous moment in German history, when the transgressions of its government and police force still echoed the wanton brutality of its near past and the Red Army Faction’s initially sympathetic resistance eventually led the group down a slippery slope of violence. It’s a depressing catalog of the misinterpretation of revolutionary ideals and compelling cinema.

THE FILM SHOWS AT 6:30 p.m. AT THE GOETHE-INSTITUT, 812 7th St. NW. $6. (202) 289-1200.