7.8/10
5,580
62 user 56 critic

One Day in September (1999)

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

Director:

Kevin Macdonald
Won 1 Oscar. Another 4 wins & 7 nominations. See more awards »

Photos

Edit

Cast

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

More Like This 

Documentary | Biography | History
    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
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  
Director: Kevin Macdonald
Stars: Philip Glass, Werner Herzog, Tom Luddy
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 33 more credits »
Stars: Hiroaki Aikawa, Cindy Baer, Teagan Bentley
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

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

Directors: Kevin Macdonald, Ilona Kacieja
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, Rita Marley
Whitney (2018)
Documentary | Biography | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

An in-depth look at the life and music of Whitney Houston.

Director: Kevin Macdonald
Stars: Whitney Houston, Ellen White, Michael Houston
Documentary | Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 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
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 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 | Biography
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A film about Eric Campbell, the tall Scottish actor who was most famous for playing the quintessential villain for Charles Chaplin's Tramp character.

Director: Kevin Macdonald
Stars: Bill Paterson, Brenda Bull, Peter Menzies
Documentary | Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  
Director: Kevin Macdonald
Stars: Samuel Fuller, John Hodge, Robbie Coltrane
Being Mick (TV Movie 2001)
Documentary | Biography | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Fly-on-the-wall documentary about rockstar Mick Jagger, and his friends and family, during the recording of his 2001 album 'Goddess in the Doorway'.

Director: Kevin Macdonald
Stars: Mick Jagger, Bono, Bob Geldof
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  

Return To Podor is a documentary that follows Senegalese artist Baaba Maal and Mumford and Sons on their journey to the most remote music festival in the world: Blues du Fleuve (River Blues) in Podor, Senegal.

Director: Kevin Macdonald
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:

View content advisory »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Director Kevin MacDonald finally managed to persuade the surviving terrorist Jamal Al Gashey to talk on camera after eight months of fitful negotiation and numerous aborted meetings in secret locations. Al Gashey specified certain conditions prior to their actual meeting in an Arab country insisting MacDonald was to travel alone, not to inform anybody where he was going and provide a wig and moustache for Al Gashey to disguise himself when in front of the camera. The interview piece used in the documentary was filmed by somebody Al Gashey trusted. 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 »

Alternate Versions

Israeli version narrated by Rafi Ginat, and includes updated information regarding the claims of the families against the German authorities in the subtitles at the end of the film. See more »

Connections

Features Munich 1972: Games of the XX Olympiad (1972) See more »

Soundtracks

Glasgow
Performed by Craig Armstrong
Written by Craig Armstrong/Marius De Vries
Published by EMI Virgin Music Ltd./Chrysalis Music Ltd.
by courtesy of Virgin Records Limited/Melankolic
See more »

User Reviews

 
A Fine Documentary
22 May 2004 | by canadudeSee all my reviews

"One Day in September" is a phenomenal documentary. Its focus is on the hostage situation during the 1972 Munich Olympics when Palestinian terrorists took Israeli athletes prisoner. The film does something which I think any great documentary should when it covers or explores historical events. It frames the entire hostage crisis in a larger context. Yes, the film covers 21 hours of September 5th on which the hostage situation commenced and (one could say) resolved itself. However, in order to understand the reactions of the German government, the Israeli government, the media and the Olympic Games' fans and participants, the film discusses the German desire to create the atmosphere of peace to erase the stigma of the 1936 Olympics, then full of Fascist propaganda. It touches on the ongoing Israel-Arab conflict. It touches on the meaning of the Olympics.

"One Day in September" never strays from its focus, however, which is to document the hostage crisis and what it meant. What makes the film great, aside from its intelligent approach to the subject, is how well the atmosphere of the hostage situation is carried across. By the end of the film you do feel like you've watched the news for a day, glued to the TV screen hoping that the people will make it out alive. Watching it, you are reminded of how ill-prepared states are for terrorist attacks (still rings true even recently) because of the ulterior motives of statesmen. A lot of what happens at the state, political level, happens because it has to look good. The Germans were unprepared for the terrorists because they thought that extreme police security would welcome images of pre-War Olympics in Germany. They wanted to appear a certain way. The same went for how they handled the crisis.

The film, like many terrorist crises, ends with a tragedy. What remains with the viewer is not only the deep sadness at how one of the most peaceful world events turns into one of the most hateful, but also how incredibly contemporary those events from over thirty years ago still seem.


48 of 55 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 62 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
Edit

Details

Official Sites:

Sony Pictures Classics

Country:

Switzerland | Germany | UK

Language:

English | German

Release Date:

12 July 2001 (Germany) See more »

Also Known As:

En dag i september See more »

Edit

Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$15,149, 19 November 2000

Gross USA:

$156,818

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$156,818
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Stereo

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Contribute to This Page

Your Next Binge Watch Awaits

Looking for something to watch? Check out IMDb's "What to Watch" series to find out what's really worth watching.



Recently Viewed