In July 1976, an Air France flight from Tel-Aviv to Paris via Athens was hijacked and forced to land in Entebbe, Uganda. The Jewish passengers were separated and held hostage in demand to release many terrorists held in Israeli prisons. After much debate, the Israeli government sent an elite commando unit to raid the airfield and release the hostages.
It's not mentioned nor shown in the movie, but the Israelis destroyed several Ugandan MiGs on the ground of Entebbe airport, to keep the aircraft from being used against them, and as part of an agreement with the Kenyan government in exchange for allowing the raid aircraft to refuel in Kenya. See more »
In the film, the Israeli C-130 planes land at Entebbe with full runway lights. In real life, the first plane landed in total darkness, and the commandos used flashlights to guide the other planes. See more »
Am Yisrael Chai
Written by Shlomo Carlebach (as Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach) (BMI)
Used by kind permission from the estate of Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach See more »
Not always accurate, but a powerfully told story of a notorious hijacking.
If you want to feel the tension between Israel and Palestine in an old context, 1976, but a contemporary resonance, then see 7 Days in Entebbe, a well-told fictionalized docudrama about the hijacking of an Air France flight from Tel Aviv to Paris by The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine and Germans sympathetic to the cause. Director Jose Padilla puts you realistically in the crowded Ugandan terminal and on the tarmac with pirates and soldiers and a crazed Idi Amin (Nonso Anozle) for grim color.
Although this story is a combination of history and fiction, the sense is that writer Gregory Burke got it right. Join Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin (Lior Ashkenazi) as he spars with defense minister Shimon Peres (Eddie Marsan) about the right strategy for saving the hostages. The film does well translating the agonizing decisions, against a backdrop of limited time and a time-honored Israeli tradition not to negotiate with terrorists. Never is it easy, and the decision will be fraught with contradictions.
The rescue by the commandoes in the Israeli Defense Force is told here with chilling clarity that defines the brave troops saving more than a hundred civilians. As the director cuts between the Israeli war room and the hostage situation, he lets us witness the tension between lead hijackers: sympathetic German, Boni (Daniel Bruhl); and hardcore revolutionary Brigitte (Rosamund Pike).
Although in real life their arc may not have moved so easily to resisting killing hostages, here the film nudges them into humanism without letting the audience forget they are still revolutionaries and the circumstances toxic. 7 Days in Entebbe is a way of experiencing terrorism and territoriality up close and personal.
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