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Excellent telling of a harrowing story,
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This review is from: One Day In September [DVD] (DVD)
This is a top class documentary, telling the story of the events surrounding the murder of Israeli athletes and coaches in Munich in 1972. There is an interview with the last surviving Palestinian who took part in the attack. He describes being picked for the mission and the specific training undertaken. He is not remorseful in any way for the deaths that took place. There are also touching interviews with family members of the Israelis. Most damningly from the German point of view local police and politicians describe honestly how confused they were in trying to settle the crisis.
The film sets the scene of the Munich Olympics, describing how anxious the organisers were for the games to be as carefree as possible leading to minimal security in the athletes village. Using remarkable news footage the film gradually builds up the tension as the Israelis are taken hostage. Negotiations with local politicians and police take place. A planned rescue by police is cancelled at the last minute.
Eventually the Palestinians are offered a plane and a rescue mission is planned at the airport. This is a disaster for all kinds of reasons and all the hostages are killed. The surviving Palestinians are arrested.
Even more chilling is the tacit admission by the Germans that the captured Palestinians were released deliberately by way of a "mock" hijack some months after the massacre.
The makers realise that a simple retelling of the events is the best way to get across the horror that unfolded. No editorials are needed. The viewer is left to come to their own conclusions. Michael Douglas' low key narration hints from the beginning that we are watching a story that will not have a happy ending.
An amazing piece of living history.