The Palestinian terrorist group Black September holds Israeli athletes hostage at the 1972 Summer Olympic Games in Munich.

Director:

On Disc

at Amazon

Won 1 Oscar. Another 3 wins & 6 nominations. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Storyville (TV Series 2007)
Documentary | Biography
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  

Series showcasing the best in international documentaries.

Stars: John M. Francis, Doug Block, Janet Suzman
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A look at the history of one-time Gestapo commander Klaus Barbie, infamously known as "The Butcher of Lyon." This documentary's main focus will be on Barbie's post-war activities, in which ... See full summary »

Director: Kevin Macdonald
Stars: Raymond Aubrac, Robert Badinter, Klaus Barbie
Marley (2012)
Documentary | Biography | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

A documentary on the life, music, and legacy of Bob Marley.

Director: Kevin Macdonald
Stars: Bob Marley, Ziggy Marley, Jimmy Cliff
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  
Director: Kevin Macdonald
Stars: Philip Glass, Werner Herzog, Tom Luddy
Black Sea (2014)
Adventure | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

In order to make good with his former employers, a submarine captain takes a job with a shadowy backer to search the depths of the Black Sea for a submarine rumored to be loaded with gold.

Director: Kevin Macdonald
Stars: Jude Law, Scoot McNairy, Ben Mendelsohn
Documentary | Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

The true story of two climbers and their perilous journey up the west face of Siula Grande in the Peruvian Andes in 1985.

Director: Kevin Macdonald
Stars: Simon Yates, Joe Simpson, Brendan Mackey
Life in a Day (2011)
Documentary | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

A documentary shot by film-makers all over the world that serves as a time capsule to show future generations what it was like to be alive on the twenty-fourth of July, 2010.

Directors: Loressa Clisby, Kevin Macdonald, and 29 more credits »
Stars: Hiroaki Aikawa, Cindy Baer, Teagan Bentley
Short | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  

Giamo and Majito have been friends ever since they were kids. They grew up in the worst part of town. In order to escape poverty they decide to enter the drug business. But Majito forgets ... See full summary »

Director: Sohrab Mohammad
Stars: Murat Akguel, Dean Mabelson, Dara Sepehri
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

Trace the rise of contemporary artist Cai Guo-Qiang from childhood in Mao's China to global art world superstar, and join his quest to realize his lifelong obsession: Sky Ladder.

Director: Kevin Macdonald
Stars: Ian Buruma, Guo-Qiang Cai, Wen-You Cai
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A romanticized look at the rites of Christmas in a variety of British homes.

Directors: Kevin Macdonald, Ilona Kacieja
Biography | Drama

American chess player Bobby Fischer faces off against Russia's Boris Spassky in the 1972 World Chess Championship.

Director: Kevin Macdonald
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A documentary filmmaker is injured and shaken after joining three groups of men from the world of bigfoot hunting.

Director: Morgan Matthews
Stars: C. Thomas Biscardi, Wayne Burton, Rick Dyer
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Himself - Narrator (voice)
Ankie Spitzer ...
Herself
Jamal Al Gashey ...
Himself
Gerald Seymour ...
Himself
Axel Springer ...
Himself
Gad Zahari ...
Himself
Shmuel Lalkin ...
Himself
Manfred Schreiber ...
Himself
Walter Troger ...
Himself
Ulrich K. Wegener ...
Himself
Hans-Dietrich Genscher ...
Himself
Schlomit Romajo ...
Herself
Magdi Gahary ...
Himself
Zvi Zamir ...
Himself
Dan Shillon ...
Himself
Edit

Storyline

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 <jreeves@imdb.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some graphic violent images | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Official Sites:

Country:

| |

Language:

|

Release Date:

24 August 2000 (Australia)  »

Also Known As:

Egy nap szeptemberben  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$15,149 (USA) (17 November 2000)

Gross:

$155,158 (USA) (23 February 2001)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

When One Day in September (2000) premiered at the Telluride Film Festival, Eric Bana was in attendance with his film Chopper (2000). Bana had seen One Day in September (2000) and read books on the subject. He would later go on to portray the lead role of Avner in Munich (2005) a film about the Israeli response to the 1972 Munich Olympics. See more »

Quotes

Jamal Al Gashey: I'm proud of what I did at Munich because it helped the Palestinian cause enormously. Before Munich the world had no idea about our struggle but on that day the name of 'Palestine' was repeated all over the world.
See more »

Connections

Version of Munich (2005) See more »

Soundtracks

Joy
Performed by Apollo 100
Licensed courtesy of Start Audio
Composed by Johann Sebastian Bach
Arranged by Tom Parker and Clive Scott
Published by Campbell Connelly & Co Ltd./Belsize Music Ltd.
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Don't watch this just before bedtime!
17 January 2002 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Watching this documentary is a harrowing experience. I think the DVD version is unique in that even its menu page looks terrifying. By the end of the film, however, I was more angry than scared, because of the amazing level of incompetence German and Olympic officials showed in handling the hostage situation. The media also behaved abominably, broadcasting play-by-play accounts of the police's plans right into the ears of the terrorists. It made me think that the Bush administration might be partially correct in keeping the media in the dark about American military activities in Afghanistan.

I don't understand why some people felt the film didn't give the "context" of the kidnapping. I think Jamal al Gashey, the only kidnapper left alive now, explained quite clearly why he did what he did. But if the film had spent an extra hour discussing the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, would that have made a difference? In my mind, nothing justified the kidnapping of athletes who by their very presence at the Olympics were trying to further world understanding. I can't think of many things that do justify holding innocent hostages for ransom. The director seems to feel that way too. Apparently that makes the movie too biased for some viewers.

As for the comment that the movie "demonizes" the kidnappers, I don't agree. The filmmakers include a German official's statement that, if he had met him in a different situation, he would have liked the terrorist spokesman, Issa. al Gashey tells some very human stories, such as an ironic account of getting into the Olympic village with the help of American athletes out after curfew, and he insists that the plan was never to murder the Israelis. And al Gashey's brief but affecting account of being exiled from his childhood village does a lot more to argue the Palestinian side of the conflict than any brutal hostage-taking scheme. Too bad he never has realized that.

Interestingly, filmmaker Kevin MacDonald wrote that in Israel he has been accused of giving too much time to the Palestinians. He also notes that Simon Reeve wrote a companion book to the movie, because "there were many aspects of the story we could not include in a 90-minute film." It's a pity the existence of the book isn't publicized more (assuming it's any good).

I do wish the film had spent more time discussing the aftermath of the tragedy, and that MacDonald had used his incredible opportunity of interviewing the last remaining terrorist to ask him some more hard-hitting questions, instead of being satisfied with a step-by-step account of what the kidnappers did that day. (However, I just read that it was extremely difficult for MacDonald to get al Gashey to talk at all.

I wasn't completely convinced that the Germans colluded with the terrorists in the Lufthansa hijacking, and would have liked to see evidence for that. I would also have liked to learn more about the Black September group. Basically, I think the film should have been longer. If it was kept to its current length for some marketing reason, I think the sponsoring studio should rethink that rule.

However, the only choice I really wish the filmmaker had not made was to accompany extremely gruesome shots of bodies with loud psychedelic music. It would have been more respectful to show the images in silence.

Watching the film in light of the events of a day in September of 2001, and after, makes me think that the world hasn't come very far since 1972, in terms of solving the Middle East's problems.


27 of 32 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Appalled at German Response iQuestion
Cold and glorified portrayl xKing
Inaccurate Translation marwanjamiel
About the fugitive criskavaquer
anyone know what happened to the arab terrorist? ashleighdee
German Government Releases Terrorists Conspiracy vpsaline
Discuss One Day in September (1999) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page