Projections - Movie Reviews

One Day in September

One Day in September

An unconventional but well-crafted documentary which is propelled by director Kevin Macdonald in a thriller, the 1999 Oscar-award winning One Day in September depicts the tragedy which resulted from a twenty one hour hostage crisis at the 1972 Munich Summer Olympic Games.  The on-going turmoil in the Middle East between Israel and its Palestinian neighbors had one of its darkest moments when eleven Israeli athletes were killed by eight terrorists, five of whom were subsequently killed.  Germany kept the games going during the standoff known as "Black September" and failed to save the hostages with an ill-conceived rescue plan.

The political atrocity begins to hit home with emotion, as a hotbed of new footage and interviews lead by Israeli widow Ankie Spitzer as she recounts her anticipation of going to Munich with her husband.  From Michael Douglas' narration there is a deadly political game which makes the tragedy more personal.  German officials and children of the victims are also heard, but the most intriguing interview is with the lone surviving terrorist involved in the attack, Jamal Al Gashery.  His explanation of how his sect was able to infiltrate the Olympic Village is unnerving.

One Day in September presents the Israeli athletes as young, family oriented citizens with a strong desire to be the best and the Palestinians as refugees in Libya and Lebanon, kept in the dark about their victims until after they began exacting their camouflaged cruelties.

Macdonald knows his tale has a lacerating effect not for its investigative quality, but in its power to make one react to its slow motion montage.  One Day in September lets you experience the bleeding in a well placed film which unfolds like a riveting, horrifying account like a gripping segment of 60 Minutes.

One Day in September

Home | Search | Reviewer Bios | Links | Mail Us
Copyright © 2005 Projections