Video on Demand: Between documentary and fiction: The 1972 Olympic assassination

Video on Demand: Between documentary and fiction: The 1972 Olympic assassination


Video on Demand
Between documentary and fiction: The 1972 Olympic assassination

"Munich's black September": The action planned by the police leadership to free the hostages at the 1972 Olympics attack

“Munich’s Black September”: The action planned by the police leadership to free the hostages at the 1972 Olympics attack had so many shortcomings that the police refused the order. photo

© Jan Marcello Kahl/Bilderfest/Sky/Wow/dpa

There was a lot of films, reports and news about the Olympic attack in Munich. At Sky and in the ARD media library there are three pieces that are particularly worthwhile. In one of them, the horror of 1972 still unfolds its horror today.

Mohammed Safady still remembers September 5, 1972, when he and seven other Palestinians attacked the Summer Olympics in Munich. Eleven Israelis and one German policeman died. The old man is still proud of the deed. “I don’t regret it, I will never regret it,” he says in the documentary series “Death and Games – Munich ’72” in the ARD media library. The pay-TV channel Sky also made the Olympic assassination a topic – once with the documentary drama “1972 – Munich Black September” and also with the fictional high-tension thriller series “Munich Games”. Both can be seen at Wow.

The docu-drama of sky and the four-part ARD series raise many questions. Police officers and politicians have their say, as well as eyewitnesses and Israeli athletes who were lucky enough not to be taken hostage. There is room for the terrorist environment and the Palestinians’ struggles and wars with Israel. Families of those killed also tell of the grief and impotent anger of having to wait decades for an apology and compensation.

A policeman as a red thread

The Sky documentary supplements the interviews with reenacted scenes. The common thread is policeman Guido Schlosser. Back then, he and his colleagues were supposed to overwhelm the terrorists on an airplane in Fürstenfeldbruck. A suicide mission that they would hardly survive, so the fear of the officials, who then withdrew.

Was that cowardly or understandable? A question that has been on Schlosser’s mind ever since. To seek forgiveness and apologize, he traveled to 2021 Tel Aviv to Ankie Spitzer, widow of the murdered fencing coach Andrej. A moving meeting, which can also be heard in the Bavarian Radio podcast “Himmelfahrtskommando”, in which Schlosser’s daughter Patrizia tells the story of her father.

Cinematic commemoration of that attack

Director Philipp Kadelbach (“Wir Kinder vom Bahnhof Zoo”) finds an unusual twist in the six-part thriller series “Munich Games”. She’s playing in the present day. A friendly match between football teams from Munich and Tel Aviv is planned to commemorate the assassination 50 years ago. But the Israeli agent Oren Simon (Yousef Sweid) finds evidence of a possible terrorist attack. Together with the German-Lebanese Maria Köhler (Seyneb Saleh) from the Bavarian State Criminal Police Office, he tries feverishly to find the mastermind and prevent the assassination. A race against time begins

Kadelbach stages gripping and with highly exciting entanglements. The story is particularly authentic in the original version, shot in German, Hebrew, Arabic and English. The horrors of September 5, 1972 are always present – as a threatening backdrop in the background. The disturbing realization soon sets in that even 50 years later, terror is still difficult to combat.

dpa



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