Film Review: ‘7 Days in Entebbe’ is Surprisingly Effective

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CHICAGO – What would you expect from an event subject that has been already rendered four times on film, and deals with terrorism, hijacking and government negotiation? “7 Days in Entebbe” contained all of this, and yet still maintained a separate energy and cinematic artistry. In many ways, it’s one of the most surprising films of the young year.

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 4.0/5.0
Rating: 4.0/5.0

The story combines some very interesting use of cinema with analogous casting. Character actors Daniel Brühl and Rosamund Pike portray hijackers in conflict, willing to stand up for their leftist beliefs until it comes to actual combat. Actual people are portrayed who were involved in incident (the film is set in 1976), and are treated with a respect to the reality of the situation. The tension of the decision making – should an Israeli task force raid the terrorist camp or should the government negotiate for the release of the hostages? – was a constant push and pull in the story, which was uniquely fascinating. Director José Padilha makes the whole debate more of a moral dilemma, and juxtaposes a unique piece of dance choreography as an artistic mirror. This is a different kind of rah-rah-we-rescued-them film.

On June 27th, 1976, an Air France plane with 248 passengers is hijacked on a flight from Tel Aviv to Paris. Among the hijackers, planned by the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), are two German members of a leftist revolutionary cell, Böse (Daniel Brühl) and Kulhmann (Rosamund Pike). The plane is forced to fly to Entebbe, Uganda, then under the rule of Idi Amin (Nonso Anozie).

Back in Israel, Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin (Lior Ashkenazi) is conferring with his Minister of Defense Shimon Peres (Eddie Marsan) for strategy, including a raid and rescue. Rabin is on the side of negotiation – the PFLP wants prisoner releases – and Peres is lobbying for raid and rescue. That latter option is implemented, and the military spends the next tense days planning the mission, which took place on July 4th. The task force comes in at night, the raid will last 90 minutes.

“7 Days in Entebbe” has a nationwide release on March 16th. Featuring Rosamund Pike, Daniel Brühl, Eddie Marsan, Lior Ashkenazi and Nonso Anozie. Screenplay by Gregory Burke. Directed by José Padilha. Rated “PG-13”

StarContinue reading for Patrick McDonald’s full review of “7 Days in Entebbe”

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Rosamund Pike and Daniel Brühl in ‘7 Days in Entebbe’
Photo credit: Focus Features

StarContinue reading for Patrick McDonald’s full review of “7 Days in Entebbe”

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