American Experience - Season 18, Episode 8 - Rotten Tomatoes

Episode Info

The contrasts between an event that changed the face of terrorism and an act of terrorism that changed the face of the world are explored in director Ilan Ziv's documentary detailing the September 1970 hijacking of five commercial airliners by the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine. Unlike the hijackers of September, 11, 2001, the PFLP was not a religious extremist group, but a group of secular Marxist Leninists looking to call attention to a plight that they felt was being ignored by the masses. Though in the end three of the airliners were spectacularly blown up by the militant Palestinian organization, none of the nearly 600 passengers taken hostage were actually killed. Now, more than three decades after the tense events that braced a nation, award-winning producer Ziv conducts interviews with the PFLP, the masterminds behind the attacks, as well as journalists who covered the events, and passengers and crew members of the flights to offer a compelling snapshot of a time in history when innocent civilians became unwilling pawns in the global game of terror.


Hijacked! Photos

Discussion Forum

Discuss American Experience on our TV talk forum!