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September 7, 2018

7 Days in Entebbe (2018) --- "For 7 Days 248 Passengers Were Held Hostage. Their Rescue Would Change The Course Of History Forever."

Plot Summary
In July 1976, four terrorists hijack an Air France flight from Tel-Aviv to Paris and force the flight crew to land in Entebbe, Uganda. There, the Jewish passengers are held hostage, with their safety contingent on the release of dozens of terrorists jailed in Israel, Germany, and Sweden. After considerable debate, the Israeli government employs the Israeli Defense Forces to execute a daring rescue. (1)

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Hello, Movie Buffs! 
     Pre-9/11 groups like Black September – responsible for the 1972 Munich Olympics tragedy – or the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine – responsible for Entebbe – seem to pale in comparison with post-9/11 groups like Al-Qaeda or ISIS. Although 7 Days in Entebbe (2018) took place in 1976, it is no less a compelling and relevant political drama about the rescue of the 7 day Air France hostage situation in Entebbe.
     Even after the action and tension starts to build the film still manages to give a neutral perspective to the story as well as explains the personal motivations for both sides rather than putting labels on everything. The story illustrates how terrorism worked in the 1970’s, how young radicals took to it, and how the people/governments handled it. The purposefully slow pace helps with character development and allows for every detail to be explained easily.
     Rosamund Pike (Beirut) and Daniel Brühl (The Zookeepers Wife) play German Freedom Fighters - Brigitte Kuhlmann and Wilfried Böse - who are ashamed of the Nazi oppression over the Jews. And yet Pike’s character has no qualms with using a selection process similar to Nazi Germany to separate the Jewish hostages from the rest, while Brühl’s character is so deeply disturbed by it that you almost begin to pity him. We also see how the previous failures of Israeli operations impact the military operation of the Israeli Defense Force. In fact, neither Prime Minister Rabin (Lior Ashkenazi - Esau) nor Shimon Peres (Eddie Marsan - Mowgli) are 100% sure that the military operation could really work until the planes carrying the Israeli Defense Force are already in the air.
     Overall, 7 Days in Entebbe (2018) is relevant and compelling political drama that shows both sides of the story and still remains neutral in its perspective. The story illustrates what pre-9/11 terrorism was like and how people/governments handled it, which was refreshing considering how its depicted today. The pace was slow and at times it felt boring but it also allowed for great character development. The acting was great and it was interesting to seek Pike and Brühl play different characters from their normal roles. Although this is not a big blockbuster film, in fact, it is the fourth retelling of the story, director Jose Padilha (RoboCop) and writer Gregory Burke (‘71) did a great job with this film. If you enjoyed 6 Days (2017) then you will enjoy this one, it may even cause you to want to know more about the Israeli-Palestine relationship.

“If Israel continued to refuse to negotiate with its adversaries merely out of national pride, nothing would get solved.”

- Shimon Peres [to Prime Minister Rabin]

Final Vote
Worth Seeing:  7.5 of 10 stars
Worth Buying:  7.5 of 10 stars

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Movies Similar 
6 Days (2017)
Die Hard (1988)
Die Hard2: Die Harder (1990)
Die Hard with a Vengence (1995)
A Good Day to Die Hard (2013)
Hostage (2005)
In the Line of Fire (1993)
Law Abiding Citizen (2009)
Live Free Die Hard (2007)
Lockout (2012)
London Has Fallen (2016)
Non-Stop (2014)
Olympus Has Fallen (2013)
Shooter (2007)
Speed (1994)
Speed 2: Cruise Control (1997)
Vantage Point (2008)
White House Down (2013)

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