One Day in September
About IDFA
One Day in September
IDFA 2013

One Day in September

Kevin Macdonald
91 min
Festival history
Kevin Macdonald reconstructed the bloodbath carried out at the 1972 Munich Olympics 27 years after the event. Step by step, he recounts how Palestinian terrorists took 11 Israeli athletes hostage. Some of those most deeply involved talk about their experience on that fateful day in September, including victims, Olympic organizers and journalists. And for the first time ever, we hear from the only surviving terrorist Jamal Al-Gashey. Archive footage of relaxed athletes in cheerfully colored sports gear sets the scene for an Olympiad that was meant to dispel the dark shadow of the 1936 Games in Berlin. That same cheeriness takes on an obscene aspect when the competition continues despite the hostage crisis. We see athletes sunbathing just meters away from the drama unfolding in a nearby apartment. The German authorities’ interventions are equally discomforting: the hostage takers were able to watch the police attempting a rescue on live TV. Media reporting was intensive but provided little clarity when it was necessary, and an erroneous police statement led to widespread relief until the truth came out. Macdonald’s steadily paced chronological account of the day’s events means the drama’s historic dénouement remains shocking, even if we know exactly what's coming.
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    BBC Storyville
    BBC Storyville
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