IMDb > The Death of Klinghoffer (2003)

The Death of Klinghoffer (2003) More at IMDbPro »


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Down 15% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Alice Goodman (libretto)
View company contact information for The Death of Klinghoffer on IMDbPro.
An adaptation from the John Adams opera on the true life incident that took place in the mid 80s. | Add synopsis »
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2 wins & 3 nominations See more »
(18 articles)

 (From Variety - TV News. 23 July 2015, 12:53 AM, PDT)

The 10 Best Classical Performances of 2014
 (From Vulture. 11 December 2014, 10:00 AM, PST)

Director of Met Opera's 'Death of Klinghoffer' on Protests: "It Invites an Audience to Think"
 (From The Hollywood Reporter. 22 October 2014, 12:32 PM, PDT)

User Reviews:
Low IMDb rating not due to merit of film, but to obstinacy of its opponents. See more (13 total) »


  (in credits order)
Sanford Sylvan ... Klinghoffer
Christopher Maltman ... Captain
Yvonne Howard ... Marilyn Klinghoffer
Tom Randle ... Molqui
Kamel Boutros ... Mamoud

Houda Echouafni ... Fatima
Leigh Melrose ... Rambo
Emil Marwa ... Omar
Susan Bickley ... Omar (singing voice)
Vivian Tierney ... Swiss Grandmother
Dean Robinson ... First Officer
Kirsten Blaise ... British Dancing Girl
Nuala Willis ... Austrian Woman
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Peter Banks ... Bernie, American Hostage
Neil Bell ... Jim, British Hostage
Rachel Bell ... Betsy, American Hostage
Syan Blake ... Helen, British Hostage
Ray Charleson ... Ben, Israeli Hostage
Lara Clifton ... Lorraine, British Hostage

Lin Clifton ... Mother

Julie Cox ... Young Hannah
Dylan Fielding ... Bob, American Hostage
Kelli Hollis ... Lisa-Marie, American Hostage
Juliette Kaplan ... Miriam, American Hostage
Tony Kirkland ... Steve, British Hostage
Andy Lucas ... Middle Eastern Expert
Della McCrae ... Grieving Relative

Alec Newman ... Young Benjamin
Rebecca Palmer ... Stella, British Hostage
Alexander Popplewell ... Didi

T.J. Ramini ... Ismael (as Tarek Ramini)

Joyce Springer ... Hannah

Directed by
Penny Woolcock 
Writing credits
Alice Goodman (libretto)

Produced by
Abi Bach .... line producer
Madonna Baptiste .... producer
Jan Younghusband .... executive producer
Cinematography by
Graham Smith 
Film Editing by
Brand Thumim 
Casting by
Nadira Seecoomar 
Production Design by
John Ellis 
Art Direction by
Heather Gibson 
Costume Design by
Claire Anderson 
Makeup Department
Jo Evans .... makeup supervisor
Jacqueline Fowler .... makeup artist: underwater sequence (as Jackie Fowler)
Michelle Garrett .... makeup artist
Jackie Grima .... makeup artist
Claire Jones .... key makeup artist
Nicola Powell .... makeup artist
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Edmund Coulthard .... assistant director: underwater sequences
Joe Geary .... first assistant director
Simon Hedges .... third assistant director
Andrea Slater .... second assistant director
Art Department
Mark Caruana .... construction manager
Barry Du Pille .... property master
Jeremy Duckham .... scenic artist
Sound Department
Julie Ankerson .... foley artist
Stuart Bruce .... sound recordist
John Fewell .... foley artist
Tim Handley .... sound
Mike Hatch .... sound
David McMillan .... boom operator
Annabelle Pangborn .... sound montage
Aad Wirtz .... sound re-recording mixer
Mark Kenna .... consultant: Dolby film sound (uncredited)
Special Effects by
Doug McCarthy .... special effects technician
Robert Thomas .... special effects supervisor
Visual Effects by
Simon Burley .... software and technical
Paul Heasman .... stunt coordinator
Andreas Petrides .... stunt coordinator
Lee Sheward .... stunt double: Klinghoffer
Camera and Electrical Department
David Attoe .... gaffer
Michael Bondin .... sparks
Susan Cane .... focus puller
Aaron Green .... gaffer: underwater unit
Elly Harrowes .... clapper loader (as Ellie Harrowes)
Cost Teluik .... sparks
Chris Thornton .... film recorder operator
Mike Valentine .... underwater camera operator
Mikey Pavia .... assistant gaffer (uncredited)
Casting Department
John Berry .... casting: opera
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Lucy Capron .... costume assistant
Leonora Stabb .... costume supervisor
Editorial Department
Simon Brook .... on-line editor
Kevin Phelan .... head of post-production: LipSync Post
Martin Southworth .... colorist
Music Department
John Adams .... conductor
Mike Hatch .... engineer
Dave Hinitt .... assistant music engineer
The London Symphony Chorus .... chorus
London Symphony Orchestra .... orchestra (as The London Symphony Orchestra)
Colin Matthews .... music editor
Transportation Department
Ivan Sammut .... action vehicle supervisor
Other crew
Winston Azzopardi .... production consultant
Adrian Borg Ghigo .... crowd marshall
Paulo Butera .... production runner
Kurt Chetcuti Bonarita .... production runner
Suzanne Facenfield .... production coordinator
Doug Green .... diving supervisor
Rosamund McArthy .... production accountant
Charlie Nancy .... production runner
Xenia Theodorous .... location assistant: Cyprus
Charlie Thompson .... location manager
Jean Turvey .... production coordinator
Erskine Vella .... production runner
Daniel Woldu .... production runner
George Wong .... production accountant
Nigel Wood .... production accountant

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

120 min
Filming Locations:

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful.
Low IMDb rating not due to merit of film, but to obstinacy of its opponents., 24 October 2014
Author: mperry374 from Chicago

I finished this movie feeling I had just watched a fine, if not exhilarating production. I expected an overall IMDb score in the range of 7.5-8.0, and found instead a score of 6.7. I then checked out the breakdown of the reviews, and found that a whopping 12.4% of reviewers gave this movie a rating of 1.0. Anyone familiar the history of Klinghoffer the opera will know that every time it premiers for a new season, it is met with fanatical protests, and epithets such as "anti-semite" and "terrorist sympathizer" are attached to the creators. It is this group that keeps the rating down.

I can tell you two things that aren't in this film: an anti-semitic agenda, and terrorist sympathizing. The hijackers are indeed "humanized" in the sense that they are given the complexity that a good story requires. Villains too are allowed to have some sophistication, and having a killer that isn't a ruthless barbarian from cradle to grave is not the same as sympathizing with his actions. The Palestinian terrorists are not the heroes of the story.

The film had the vibe of an indie flick. The production was not as technically elite as a higher- budget film would be, but it nevertheless kept a level of suspense and intrigue for the entirety of the film, thanks in large part to Adams' music and to additional location scenes in the West Bank depicting life in 1948, 1985, 2001, and 2003, news reports on the hijacking, shots of worried loved ones in America, and footage of the Nazi Holocaust and of Jewish refugees from post-war Europe.

It has come up in the user reviews that the Nazi treatment of European Jews is placed as an equal to Israeli treatment of the Palestinians. Again, this is a fabrication, and there was no such suggestion in the film. For many, the achilles heel for this film will be that it simply cannot be removed from the politics of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and conversation and criticism about it is doomed to repeat the same slogans of the real-life conflict.

Some may find that it is too broad in scope. I appreciated the historical context, but I would understand if others thought that it bloated the story. I think this criticism would be fair. But then, the film does not purport to be a documentary. Flashbacks, histories, and fictional elements of the character's personal lives are fair game, and in the end they probably give the film more depth than if all two hours had taken place on the Achille Lauro.

It seemed that the lead actors/singers were not film actors, but they do a good job anyway. The leading hijacker is particularly compelling. Leon Klinghoffer was also great. I felt heart- wrenching pity in many of his appearances. His character is done justice.

There were moments that were cinematically intriguing, but I wouldn't laud it for cinematography. Ultimately I would describe Klinghoffer as a political, suspenseful, thought- provoking, musical, and ultimately a unique move-watching experience.

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