Tuesday, February 4, 2014

One Day in September

Non fictional thriller.

Kevin Macdonald’s 1999 Academy Award Winning feature documentary One day in September gives new insights into the 1972 Munich Massacre. As the Germany was proudly hosting the 1972 Olympic Games in their so called paradise land of Munich, a group of Palestinian extremists belonging to Black September force got inside Olympic Village where Israeli athletes and coaches were staying and held them as hostages. 

For the first time, the film presents the lone surviving member of Black September speaking about his perspective of the massacre. He has been in hiding in Africa with his wife and two daughters since 28 years. The film also presents interviews of other participants (wives of murdered athletes, an escaped Israeli Olympian, German forces and officials and Israeli government officials) as the testimonies to that horrible event.

The film opens up with a Munich Olympic advertisement locating Munich as the city of tradition and modernity and a land of paradise for any new visitors. Narrated by Michael Douglas, the film takes into account of a horrible incident that no one ever sensed or predicted. Taking advantage of lax German security forces, few extremists go on turning a land of paradise into a center of terrorism. They demanded 200 Palestinian prisoners to be freed from Israeli prisons in exchange of freeing the hostages.
The story proceeds further like an investigative thriller as German and Israeli forces attempt to rescue the hostages before the given deadlines and the media updating news about the happenings. Israeli government, which is unlikely to fulfill the demands of the Palestinian rebels, leads to more possible threats to the hostages.

The strength of the film lies in it trying to balance the human loss incurred by Israel with Palestinian sentiment of freedom and sovereignty.

The film has well placed music and archival footages. The film uses a large amount of archived footages from then Olympic games and the building where athletes were seized. Music is in the soul of this film to electrify the moments and emotions, including rock numbers from Led Zeppelin and Deep Purple. 

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