As a student I was part of - what we call now - the "68 generation". Protest was flowing over all major universities in Germany. This concentrated on the so called "establishment" and later on the Vietnam war was in the focus.
A perverted group of this protest movement was the "RAF (Rote Armee Fraktion)". The young German Republic was in no way prepared to give an appropriate response to these terrorists. The reactions of the government to the terror have been helpless and the police had no means to meet the aggressiveness and cynicism of these people. There was a climate of helplessness and hate all over the country.
The climax was in 1977 the kidnapping of Hans Martin Schleyer, a representative of the hated "establishment". The purpose of this kidnapping was to free other terrorists who were in jail in Stuttgart/South Germany.
The government, represented by Chancellor Helmut Schmidt refused this blackmail and so the terrorists asked their Palestinian friends for help. In the end a group of four PLFP (Popular Front of Liberation for Palestine) terrorists hijacked the German Lufthansa jet "Landshut" with over 80 tourists on board.
These are the facts and many documentations have analyzed this event.
The film which is no documentation - has a completely different approach and shows the "inside" view of this drama. As all passengers survived, there are many people who could tell what happened inside the plane during these long, dramatic hours. And this gives a lot of suspense - the story of the "Landshut" was never told like this before. You can feel the fear, panic and sometimes the hope of all the passengers who didn't have the foggiest idea of what happened outside - what their government did. They felt lost and given up by their country.
The movie shows in a stunning way the people acting inside and outside of the aircraft. So, as a viewer you have the complete picture of what happened and you get an idea about the fear and uncertainty of all persons involved in this dramatic situation.
The actors give a realistic picture of the situation and are brilliant, especially Saïd Taghmaoui as Mahmud, Thomas Kretschmann as captain and Herbert Knaup as commander of the special forces "GSG9". Also very good Nadja Uhl as stewardess and Christian Berkel impersonating chancellor Helmut Schmidt.
Even if you are not familiar with this part of the German history, this film is worth while to be seen.
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