7 Days in Entebbe

Seven daysDirected by Brazilian filmmaker José Padilha who is best known for 2007’s Elite Squad and producing the Netflix series Narcos, 7 Days in Entebbe is a fairly routine crime thriller hampered by a slow pace but noteworthy for its retelling of a truly remarkable true story. The movie is about the 1976 hijacking of Air France Flight 139 from Paris to Tel Aviv by a group of terrorists sympathetic to the Palestinian cause against Israel. Its primary focus is on the German terrorists Wilfried Böse, played by Daniel Brühl, and Brigitte Kuhlmann, played by Oscar nominee Rosamund Pike, who decide to join several other Palestinians to hijack an airliner in order to make demands in favor of the Palestinians. After overtaking the plane, they divert to Entebbe, Uganda whose ruthless dictator Idi Amin is pro-Palestinian will harbor the terrorists and the 248 passengers and crew members taken hostage. The characters spend most of the movie waiting for a response from the Israeli government while also showing the ideological differences between the German and Palestinian terrorists. At the same time, the film switches to providing an inside glimpse into the Israeli response led by the hawkish Minister of Defence Shimon Perez, played by Eddie Marsan, and the more moderate Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, played by Lior Ashkenazi. Furthermore, it also follows a few of the Israeli Defense Forces soldiers as they go about their daily lives in preparation for the climactic raid on the airport to free the hostages that occurred on July 4, 1976. In a creative twist, the movie begins and ends with a very dramatic modern dance performance that metaphorically represents the delicate dance of negotiating with terrorists and the highly choreographed military maneuvers involved in the raid. Overall, I found it to be a rather disappointing film that I had high expectations for as a result of its fascinating story; unfortunately, it was rather lacking in providing a gripping and gritty account of one of the most publicized terrorist acts in modern history.

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