31.1.07

One Day in September



I have a semi-obsession with the events surrounding the 1972 Olympics Munich massacre.

Maybe it's the terror-sounding names of the organizations involved, like Black September and The Mossad. Say it: "Black. September." How cool did that just sound?

Maybe it's all the readings of the hush-hush conspiracy theories that surround the events after the massacre.

Maybe I'm just plain morbid.

Anyway, my simmering obsession boiled over to the point of me downloading, yes downloading, the documentary examining the Munich massacre - "One Day in September". It's directed by Kevin MacDonald, and narrated (although in a somewhat detached manner) by Michael Douglas.

The great thing about this documentary is how it doesn't sit on any political fences. It blatantly alleges the poor rescue operations, the bad, bad, bad security control and post-events conspiracy theories.

The producers even managed to track down and locate the last-surviving terrorist who is hiding "somewhere in Africa" (of the 3 that survived, 2 were assassinated by The Mossad). This man gave his account of the incident, alongside others like the wife of an athlete who was murdered, Zvi Zamir (yet another cool name!) who was The Mossad chief at the time, and even one of the surviving athletes.

And then there is the superb editing. Gripping, tense scenes of snipers marking the building where the terrorists held the hostages, are juxtaposed with happy, cheering crowds and triumphant athletes.

The film also takes you through a tour of the building where the athletes were held hostage, at 31 Connollystra├če, at the Munich Olympic Village. Vivid, mentals pictures I can add to my future readings/research.

The documentary felt like a movie. Which made it all the more chilling when you remember that this incident really happened. It's a part of history.

Brilliant. 93% on Rotten Tomatoes. With an Academy Award to boot.

Only snag was that the subtitles were in French. And some interviews were conducted in Hebrew, German and Arab. (Free mar, cannot complain.)

Yet, I remained transfixed till the end.

Ok, ok. Like I said, maybe I'm just plain morbid.