Entebbe (film)

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Entebbe poster.png
UK theatrical release poster
Directed byJosé Padilha
Produced by
Written byGregory Burke
Music byRodrigo Amarante
CinematographyLula Carvalho
Edited byDaniel Rezende
Distributed byFocus Features
Release date
‹See TfM›
  • February 19, 2018 (2018-02-19) (Berlinale)
  • March 16, 2018 (2018-03-16) (United States)
  • May 11, 2018 (2018-05-11) (United Kingdom)
Running time
107 minutes
  • United Kingdom
  • United States
(also German, French, Hebrew, and Arabic)
Box office$9.6 million[1]

Entebbe[2] (titled 7 Days in Entebbe in the U.S.) is a 2018 action thriller film[1] directed by José Padilha and written by Gregory Burke. The film recounts the story of Operation Entebbe, a 1976 counter-terrorist hostage-rescue operation. The film stars Rosamund Pike and Daniel Brühl. It was released in the United States on 16 March 2018 and in the United Kingdom on 11 May 2018.


In 1976, two German and two Palestinian terrorists hijacked Air France Flight 139 en route from Tel Aviv to Paris. They held the passengers and crew hostage at Entebbe in Uganda and demanded a ransom of $5 million for the airplane and the release of 53 Palestinian and pro-Palestinian militants, 40 of whom were prisoners in Israel.[3] When all diplomatic efforts failed, the Israeli government decided not to negotiate and approved a counter-terrorist hostage rescue operation by Israeli Defense Force commandos.



On 11 February 2016, it was announced that José Padilha would next direct Entebbe for Working Title Films and StudioCanal, from a script by Gregory Burke.[4] On 29 July 2016, Rosamund Pike, Daniel Brühl and Vincent Cassel joined to play the lead roles in the film, with Cassel ultimately not participating.[5]

Principal photography on the film began on 14 November 2016 in Malta, and production also took place in the U.K.[6][7] A real hijacking took place during filming at the Malta International Airport.[8]

The film features extensive footage of the noted Batsheva Dance Company, dancing to a modern version of the traditional Jewish song Echad Mi Yodea. One of the characters in the film is a dancer in the troupe, and the dance is shown as the film opens and then throughout the film, intercut with portions of the narrative.


The film premiered on 19 February 2018 at the 68th Berlin International Film Festival. It was released in the United States on 16 March 2018, and received a release in the United Kingdom on 11 May 2018.[9]


An initial trailer for Entebbe was released on 7 December 2017, using the 1971 song "I'd Love to Change the World" by the band Ten Years After.[10]


Critical reception[edit]

On review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 24% based on 107 reviews, and an average rating of 5/10. The website's critical consensus reads, "7 Days in Entebbe has a worthy story to tell, but loses sight of its most compelling elements in a dull dramatization of riveting real-life events."[11] On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 49 out of 100, based on 29 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews."[12]

David Ehrlich of IndieWire gave the film a "C" and called it competent but pointless, saying: "When all the dust settles, we’re left right where we started, and with nothing to show for it but a fleeting reminder that peace is impossible without negotiation. It’s a lesson that history has failed to teach us, filtered through a movie that doesn’t understand why."[13] The Chicago Sun-Times's Richard Roeper gave the film 2 out of 4 stars, writing, "All too often in 7 Days in Entebbe, primary characters on all sides of this 1970s period-piece political thriller state the obvious — and then state it again, and then have to stand around while someone else states the obvious one more time, just in case the folks in the seats have yet to grasp the stakes at hand and the dilemmas in play."[14]

Liel Leibovitz of Tablet criticized the film's downplaying of violence, such as the final raid being "shot in infuriating slow-motion and cross-cut with a modern dance performance", writing that the lack of violence eliminates the possibility of "catharsis" and renders the film a "vapid and vacuous statement".[15]

Historical accuracy[edit]

The film puts Yonatan Netanyahu's death much earlier in the raid on the airport than had been portrayed in previous films on the subject or in the Netanyahu family's version of events.[16][17] Director Padilha said that this placement was based on interviews with participants in the raid.[18] Although the production had commissioned British historian Saul David's 2015 study Operation Thunderbolt as a guide, the director opted to subordinate historical accuracy to dramatic effect in a number of scenes.[19] Most notably, the division of the hostages and the Air France crew staying with the hostages are presented in a way that contradicts eyewitness accounts gathered by David.[20]


7 Days in Entebbe (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)
Film score by
ReleasedApr 6, 2018
VenueLondon, UK
StudioAbbey Road Studios
LabelLakeshore Records
ProducerRodrigo Amarante
Paul Katz
Brian McNelis
Skip Williamson

All cues were produced and composed by Rodrigo Amarante

Original track list
1."Looking Back" (opening)1:47
4."Ms. Martel Escapes"2:14
5."A Purpose"2:58
6."Innocence Lost"1:50
8."Arriving in Entebbe"3:09
11."A Light"0:53
12."Prime Minister and the News"1:23
14."Close Enemies"1:41
15."The Last Hour"2:09
16."Operation Begins"2:28
17."Low Altitude"2:33
19."0515 Beginning 2 Skl (Last Work)" (by Grischa Lichtenberger)7:53
20."Chair Dance (Echad Mi Yodeah)" (by The Tractor's Revenge & Ohad Naharin)6:40
Total length:50:46

Credits and personnel[edit]

  • Rodrigo Amarante – Arranger, Composer, Engineer, Primary Artist, Producer
  • John Bergin – Art Direction
  • Matthew Compton – Arranger
  • Eric Craig – A&R
  • Andrew Feinberg – A&R
  • Mark Graham – Conductor, Orchestration
  • Todd Dahl Hoff – Arranger, Engineer
  • Jake Jackson – Mixing
  • Lewis Jones – Engineer
  • Paul Katz – Executive Producer
  • Samur Khouja – Engineer
  • Kirsten Lane – Music Consultant
  • Brian McNelis – Executive Producer
  • David Reichardt – Engineer
  • Skip Williamson – Executive Producer

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "7 Days in Entebbe (2018)". The Numbers. Retrieved 16 October 2019.
  2. ^ "Entebbe: Home". Entebbe official website. Entertainment One. Archived from the original on 9 December 2017. Retrieved 7 May 2018.
  3. ^ Dunstan, Simon (2011). Entebbe: The Most Daring Raid of Israel's Special Forces. New York: Rosen. pp. 17–18. ISBN 9781448818686.
  4. ^ Jaafar, Ali (11 February 2016). "Jose Padilha In Negotiations To Direct 'Entebbe' For Working Title, Studiocanal – Berlin". Deadline Hollywood. Penske Business Media. Retrieved 1 August 2016.
  5. ^ Fleming, Mike Jr. (29 July 2016). "Rosamund Pike, Daniel Bruhl & Vincent Cassel In Talks To Board Jose Padilha's 'Entebbe'". Deadline Hollywood. Penske Business Media. Retrieved 1 August 2016.
  6. ^ "Filming of Entebbe begins". Saul David official website. Retrieved 5 May 2017.
  7. ^ "Filming starts at the Civic Centre. Yes, you read that correctly". iHarrow. 13 January 2017. Archived from the original on 14 January 2017. Retrieved 5 May 2017.
  8. ^ "Entebbe hijack film shoot stopped by real-life Libya plane hijack in Malta". The Ugandan. 24 December 2016. Retrieved 5 May 2017.
  9. ^ Siegel, Tatiana (17 February 2018). "Berlin: '7 Days in Entebbe' Questions Benjamin Netanyahu's Version of History". The Hollywood Reporter. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved 6 March 2018.
  10. ^ Evans, Greg (7 December 2017). "'7 Days In Entebbe' Trailer: Daniel Brühl, Rosamund Pike In Rescue Mission Thriller". Deadline Hollywood. Penske Business Media. Retrieved 7 May 2018.
  11. ^ "7 Days in Entebbe (2018)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango Media. Retrieved 13 July 2018.
  12. ^ "7 Days in Entebbe Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved 14 May 2018.
  13. ^ Ehrlich, David (21 February 2018). "'7 Days in Entebbe' Review: Rosamund Pike Stars in a Hijacking Docudrama that Never Takes Off — Berlinale 2018". IndieWire. Penske Business Media. Retrieved 7 March 2018.
  14. ^ Roeper, Richard (14 March 2018). "'7 Days in Entebbe' turns audacious rescue into a listless thriller". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved 14 March 2018.
  15. ^ Leibovitz, Liel (16 March 2018). "A New Entebbe Movie, Hijacked by Bad Ideas". Tablet. Nextbook. Retrieved 20 March 2018.
  16. ^ Bachner, Michael (20 February 2018). "In new film, Jewish director challenges Israeli version of 1976 Entebbe rescue". Times of Israel. Retrieved 7 May 2018.
  17. ^ "Berlin: '7 Days in Entebbe' Questions Benjamin Netanyahu's Version of History". The Hollywood Reporter. 17 February 2018.
  18. ^ Brown, Hannah (20 February 2018). "'7 Days in Entebbe' film plays down Israeli heroism". The Jerusalem Post. Retrieved 7 May 2018.
  19. ^ "Historian Saul David Discusses Israel's Famous Entebbe Operation And How He Tracked Down A German Fugitive". The New York Blueprint. 15 March 2018.
  20. ^ "The True Story Behind the Movie '7 Days in Entebbe'". Time. 16 March 2018. Retrieved 13 July 2018.

External links[edit]