A worthy winner of an Oscar for Best Documentary, this dynamic, polemical account of the Black December terrorist attack on Israeli athletes during the 1972 Munich Olympics - which left 11 Israeli dead - is a bold attempt to pump new energy into documentary storytelling. The film-makers have gathered an impressive list of witnesses, including Ankie Spitzer (widow of the murdered fencing coach), Hans-Dietrich Genscher (the government negotiator, subsequently Foreign Minister), Zvi Zamir (chief of Mossad) and, not least, the last surviving member of the terrorist team, Jamal Al-Gashey. Innovative editing and multi-perspective techniques, plus computer modelling and graphics, and the excellent camerawork of Alwin (Ratcatcher) Küchler result in a fascinating documentary in thriller mode, accompanied by a varied, tension-boosting rock score. The film manages to take full account of the sensibilities of the victims' family and friends, while also fashioning a compelling condemnation of the sorry record of incompetence, callousness and double-standards, if not inadvertent racism and outright illegality, on the part of the German authorities.
Cast and crew
Ulrich K Wegener