One Day in September Reviews
There is plenty of news footage and testimony to put together a very linear account of what happened. The story is made all the more remarkable by its tragic conclusion. No spoilers, but what a roller coaster. Could have done without some photos at the end, but hey, that's what happened I guess.
The two most interesting aspects of this story are the way the terrorists used media & the games to build it up to a world event & how badly the ambush went at the German Airport.
Filled with many fascinating interviews especially from the only surviving gunman of the event & certain wives & children of the 11 that where murdered. This was a horrible history but a brilliant documentary.
I didn't like some of the heavy editing choices - misplaced and unsympathetic. In particular the use of montage near the end, Also, it offered insufficient opportunity for justifying the motives of Black September - as though nobody wants to hear the answer to the question, why did you do it?
The Palestinian terrorist group Black September holds Israeli athletes hostage at the 1972 Summer Olympic Games in Munich.
This documentary uses real footage throughout, with archived news reels, pictures, photos (of the dead, shot, burnt, otherwise), and interviews with family members. But their real coup would be to have interviewed the one and only surviving terrorist who partook in the horror against the spirit of the Olympics. It also provides those born after 1972, or too young to remember, a look at the events surrounding that day - from the Olympic organizers who are too arrogant to suspend the games, the indifference of the athletes in the Olympic Village, the lack of adequate security (as compared to today), to the politics behind the entire affairs.
Perhaps what will rile you are the West German's botched attempt to rescue the hostages. They were surprisingly ill-prepared, deploying untrained teams, lack of proper equipment, and had to recall countless of attempts, before the final embarrassment at the airport, which exposed their severe weakness at handling terrorist incidents. All the hostages were killed in the confrontation, when the terrorists threw hand grenades and emptied bullets into the helicopters they were in. It's only after this that the Germans formed their anti-terror squad, the GSG9. To make matters worse, there was a cover up and collusion between the Germans and the terrorists when the latter apparently hijacked a Lufthansa flight (with only 12 passengers on board, and no women and children), and the former handed over the 3 surviving terrorists of the Munich incident in exchange for safe passage of the flight. Perhaps the worst thing about viewing "One Day in September" is that it represents a warning in these terrorist-driven times that such events could always happen again. This film should not just be about what happened then, but about what could happen now and in the future.