Viscerally gripping and deeply disturbing, this account of the terrorist attack at the 1972 Munich Olympics won the 2000 Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature. Twenty-seven years after the fall of the Third Reich, the Israeli Olympic squad arrived in Munich filled
with the spirit of international brotherhood in sportsmanship that the Olympic Games are supposed to represent. It was not to last. At 4:05 am on September 5, 1972, a team of Libyan-trained PLO terrorists, equipped with directions provided by East German athletes, broke into the Israeli quarters.
In little over an hour, wrestling coach Moshe Weinberg and weightlifter Josef Romano were shot and killed, 11 Israeli athletes were held hostage at gunpoint, and the terrorists — eight members of an extremist group who called themselves Black September — were demanding the release of
some 236 "political prisoners," including the leaders of Germany's own notorious Baader-Meinhof gang. If all prisoners were not released by noon, the Palestinians warned, they would begin publicly executing the athletes. The next 24 hours were a nail-biting ordeal: a sorry tale of stunning
incompetence and shameful indifference that began with the Olympic organizers' unwillingness to stop the games, and ended on an airport runway outside of Munich. Filmmaker Kevin Macdonald pieces the story together using news footage shot as the unbelievable events were unfolding (every major press
organization in the world was in Munich to cover the games — something Black September was counting on) and extensive interviews with German officials, Israeli survivors, the victims' family members and, most amazingly, one of the surviving terrorists, who speaks openly about his mission and
the pride he continues to feel. It's a shocking story, made all the more so by the film's final revelation, an outrageous allegation no one even bothers to deny.
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- Released: 2000
- Rating: NR
- Review: Viscerally gripping and deeply disturbing, this account of the terrorist attack at the 1972 Munich Olympics won the 2000 Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature. Twenty-seven years after the fall of the Third Reich, the Israeli Olympic squad arrived in… (more)