248 passengers were held hostage. For seven days, the world was held captive.
In 1976, four hijackers take over an Air France airplane en route from Tel Aviv to Paris and force it to land in Entebbe, Uganda. With 248 passengers on board, one of the most daring rescue missions ever is set in motion.
Entebbe is a subject I have been interested in from an early age, having seen all three of the previous movies made on the subject (Operation Thunderbolt, Victory at Entebbe and the best, Raid on Entebbe in 1976) but I also did decided to undertake factual research into the raid some time before this film was ever embarked upon.
Though people claim another film about the topic was unnecessary, I cannot agree with that fact. Most of the millennial generation have never heard of these events nor have they seen the previous cinematic efforts. To bring things to a modern audience, a film with contemporary stars is often required to garner interest in a tale that few under the age of 35 would have given much thought to. Considering the age of terrorism that we live in I didn't have an issue with the film giving a heavy amount of screen time to their motivations because if you don't understand why someone has a propensity towards acts of violence as a use of political means, how are we ever going to stop this circle from repeating itself? Good performances are put it from the leads especially Eddie Marsan and Daniel Bruhl but the screenplay is slow and ponderous and doesn't give equal weight to other perspectives and differing viewpoints of characters. it is worth remembering even the 1976 film had a reasonably sympathetic portrayal of Bose. The portrayal of the Ugandans here is two dimensional as always. It would have been more interesting to give some of them a voice and hear their views on the events they were caught up in and had absolutely no control over. As the actual Entebbe is currently a UN Airbase, its a shame the film wasn't shot at the real location because the depiction here (Shot in Malta) feels very stifled.
Any Entebbe film will stand or fall on the way the assault is depicted and here its shown extremely piece meal while inter cut with a scene of a dance connected to the girlfriend of one of the soldiers. As many others have stated as a metaphor though I can see what the director was going for it really doesn't work, makes the scene disjointed, muffles much of the sound and reduces the emotional impact of the assault and its consequences. Many aspects of the assault aren't accurate either. Wilfred and Brigette were not next to each other when they died. Yoni is depicted as begin shot during the assault but this is wrong, he was fired at afterwards during the departure while getting the hostages on the plane. A terrorist walks towards a soldier with a Grenade in each hand - this never happened, the Commandos used the grenades in the last rooms to kill the last of the terrorists. Dora Bloch's murder by the Ugandan Secret Police is lumped in with the others. as a footnote on the end titles, which feels ill fitting. The shooting of the three Israeli hostages accidentally during the raid goes almost entirely un-depicted. To have such things omitted and give the screen time no needless dance sequences just feels wrong. As others have said there is no mention of the award given to the French Captain, nor his crew. One cannot help but feel that the soul purpose of the film was to give a voice to Palestine cause and while its fine to show different view points, its not right to give so much screen time to one thing and so little screen time or indeed none at all to many other things of consequence. I missed opportunity and it has to be said, the 1976 film is superior in every way.
_**Lacks insight, but is well made**_
> _Early yesterday morning Roi was murdered. The quiet of the spring morning dazzled him and he did not see those waiting in ambush for him, at the edge of the furrow._
>_Let us not cast the blame on the murderers today. Why should we declare their burning hatred for us? For eight years they have been sitting in the refugee camps in Gaza, and before their eyes we have been transforming the lands and the villages, where they and their fathers dwelt, into our estate._
>_It is not among the Arabs in Gaza, but in our own midst that we must seek Roi__'s blood. How did we shut our eyes and refuse to look squarely at our fate, and see, in all its brutality, the destiny of our generation?_
>_Beyond the furrow of the border, a sea of hatred and desire for revenge is swelling, awaiting the day when serenity will dull our path, for the day when we will heed the ambassadors of malevolent hypocrisy who call upon us to lay down our arms._
>_Roi's blood is crying out to us and only to us from his torn body. Although we have sworn a thousandfold that our blood shall not flow in vain, yesterday again we were tempted, we listened, we believed._
>_We will make our reckoning with ourselves today; we are a generation that settles the land and without the steel helmet and the canon's maw, we will not be able to plant a tree and build a home. Let us not be deterred from seeing the loathing that is inflaming and filling the lives of the hundreds of thousands of Arabs who live around us. Let us not avert our eyes lest our arms weaken.This is the fate of our generation._
>_This is our life's choice - to be prepared and armed, strong and determined, lest the sword be stricken from our fist and our lives cut down._
- Moshe Dayan; Eulogy for Roi Rotenberg (April 19, 1956)
Written by Gregory Burke (_'71_) and directed by José Padilha (_Ônibus 174_; _Tropa de Elite_; _Tropa de Elite 2_; _Robocop_), _Entebbe_ [released in North America as _7 Days in Entebbe_] has met with near universally bad reviews (22% approval on Rotten Tomatoes at the time of writing), and while it is without doubt flawed, it's not nearly as bad as has been made out. Telling the story of the 1976 AirFrance hijacking by Palestinian and German revolutionaries, and the subsequent Israeli Defence Force rescue mission (Operation Thunderbolt), the film is presented from multiple points of view; Revolutionäre Zellen members Brigitte Kuhlmann (Rosamond Pike) and Wilfried Böse (Daniel Brühl), Israeli Minister for Defence Shimon Peres (Eddie Marsan), Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin (an excellent Lior Ashkenazi), IDF Pvt. Zeev Hirsch (Ben Schnetzer), AirFrance 1st Engineer Jacques Le Moine (Denis Ménochet), IDF Lt. Col. Yoni Netanyahu (Angel Bonanni), and Ugandan President Idi Amin (Nonso Anozie).
The problem is obvious; the film covers every point of view except the most important one; the Palestinian. Indeed, the only Palestinian given any kind of development is a fictional character played by Omar Berdouni, who talks of Israeli tanks driving over a car in which his family were trapped. And there are other strange omissions; the death of Dora Bloch (Trudy Weiss), murdered on Amin's orders after she was released in Kampala, is never mentioned, and Wadie Haddad is nowhere to be found. Additionally, the film doesn't have much of contemporaneous relevance to say in relation to the Arab-Israeli Conflict, other than alluding melancholically to the self-propagating nature of the violence, and the unlikelihood of peace (the closing legend points out that after he pushed for negotiations in 1995, Rabin was assassinated by a Jewish extremist). However, it's aesthetically very well put together, and the juxtaposition of Thunderbolt with a Jewish dance number works much better than it has any right to. True, it doesn't get to the heart of the matter by any stretch of the imagination, and it could be accused of taking a pro-Israeli stance, but it's enjoyable enough, and worth a look.