The 1972 Munich Olympics were interrupted by Palestinian terrorists taking Israeli athletes hostage. Besides footage taken at the time, we see interviews with the surviving terrorist, Jamal Al Gashey, and various officials detailing exactly how the police, lacking an anti-terrorist squad and turning down help from the Israelis, botched the operation. Written by
Jon Reeves <email@example.com>
When I was a kid my father used to say our greatest hopes and our worst fears are seldom realized. Our worst fears have been realized tonight. They have now said there were eleven hostages; two were killed in their rooms yesterday morning, nine were killed at the airport tonight. They're all gone.
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Performed by Charles Wright & The Watts 103rd Street Rhythm Band
Courtesy of Warner Bros. Records
by arrangement with Warner Special Products/Warner Music UK
Written by Charles Wright
Used by kind permission of Warner/CHappell Music Ltd. See more »
"A Day in September" is a compelling and intriguing documentary on the 1972 Munich Summer Olympics in which Arab terrorists took 11 members of the Israeli team hostage. Although we know in advance of the outcome in which all hostages die, the film still keeps the tension high by giving us previously little know and new information and imagry. Shown chronological, the events speak for themselves.
We see West German officials as being too naive and incompetent to handle the crises. Still they refused help from the Israeli government which could have saved lives. Furthermore, we find out that in a half-hearted attempt to cover up their incompetency, they actually conspired to use a fake hijacking to free the surviving terrorists.
We find out that the terrorists had help from East Germany.
We see the terrorists as being as naive as the Germans by actually thinking that their actions would gain them a long term victory. Even when given the chance to justify their actions, the lone surviving member of the terrorist squad reveals these people as basing their value of human life in terms of political necessities.
We learn that arrogant Olympic officials considered the games more important than the lives at stake. The terrorist action was more of an annoyance or inconvenience.
Finally, we see the international media reaction as if this were one big show. One police attempt to free the hostages was aborted because preperations were being carried live on television, thus alerting the terrorists!
But above all, A DAY IN SEPTEMBER serves as a timely warning of the dangers of those to whom the ends justify the means, regardless of the outcome.
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