27 April 2018.
7 DAYS IN ENTEBBE ***
Here’s a gripping portrait of the hijacking of an Air France airliner in the summer of 1976 by two Palestinians and two German revolutionaries, which ended at the airport of Entebbe, Uganda.
Seven days of high tension for the hundreds of hostages, the nervous hijackers, the Israeli government whose policy is never give in to terrorism, and the high jinks of dictator Idi Amin, culminating by the spectacular rescue of the hostages. All of this has already been written in history, both vilified and glorified in the media.
That event had three other cinematic interpretations – in the late 70s – but this version recounts much more than a sketch of those seven days. It brings to life both the backgrounds and motives of the hijackers, the bravery of the crew, and the workings of the Israeli cabinet and army, including such world statesmen as Shimon Peres and Yitzhak Rabin (later tragically assassinated).
Brazilian director José Padilha (of Netflix’ “Narcos”) has created a balanced view of the events, keeping the audience spellbound despite knowing the outcome, due to the taught script, the fine acting of a strong cast including Daniel Brühl and Rosamund Pike, and by using the powerful ‘chair dance’ of the magnificent Batsheva dance company of Israel to frame the tense drama of those days.
It has not had the best reviews, for some have said the film leans too favorably towards the Palestinian cause, but I believe Padilha has tried to show all sides – from the muddled, urgent reasonings of the hijackers to the brilliance and courage of the Israelis.
His juxtapositioning the tension of the situation with the contemporary choreography of the incomparable Ohad Naharin makes for powerful cinema.
Superb **** Very Good *** Good ** Mediocre * Miserable – no stars
Neptune Ravar Ingwersen reviews film extensively for publications in Switzerland. She views 4 to 8 films a week and her aim is to sort the wheat from the chaff for readers.