Tuesday, October 31, 2006

One Day in September

One Day in September
Directed by: Kevin Macdonald, Switzerland / Germany / UK, 1999
Documentary, 94min
Distributed by: Sony Pictures Classics

Story: The tragic and terrifying tale of how the 1972 Olympic games in Munich where plunged into darkness and tragedy as nine Palestinian terrorists from the Black September movement take the Israeli Olympic team hostage.

This is one of those documentaries that you stumble onto every now and then. Recently with the release of Spielberg's Munich, there was an obvious draw to watch this documentary. It's cold and slow pace makes it the sort of documentary that crawls under your skin and you can't help feeling some what sympathetic of the hostages and their fate. But the most shocking is the unrealistic way that the Germans handled this situation. Speak of the global view of German efficacy being totally wrong in this case. Told through archive footage, news reels, eye witnesses and the surviving family members, Macdonald manages to weave together an amazing documentary that keeps you on the edge of your seat even though history can't be changed and we know of the tragic outcome. Although I do feel that the final twelve minutes of slow-motion shots over the dead hostages counter cut with the were proud of our actions montage of the surviving kidnappers is almost a far bit past propaganda values, and could have been done in a more neutral way. I never like having to pick sides when there are two causes, both with logic reason behind them. But where ever your political views lie, this is definitely a must see documentary. Not for the squeamish, because it is very harsh and has scenes of extreme violence at times, but it's very well made and not surprisingly it won the Academy Award for best documentary in 2000.

1.85:1 Widescreen, colour with varied qualities due to source materials.
English shubtitles available.

Dolby Digital Surround in English or dubbed German.

Photogalleries, Biographies. Trailer for One Day In September and other Sony Picture Classics titles.

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