UK theatrical release poster
|Directed by||José Padilha|
|Written by||Gregory Burke|
|Music by||Rodrigo Amarante|
|Edited by||Daniel Rezende|
|Distributed by||Focus Features (United States)|
Entertainment One Films (United Kingdom)
|Box office||$8.7 million|
Entebbe (titled 7 Days in Entebbe in the U.S.) is a 2018 action thriller film 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 Palestinian and two German terrorists hijacked Air France Flight 139 en route from Tel Aviv to Paris. They held the passengers and crew hostage at Entebbe 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. When all diplomatic efforts failed, the Israeli government decided not to negotiate and approved a counter-terrorist hostage rescue operation by IDF commandos.
- Rosamund Pike as Brigitte Kuhlmann
- Daniel Brühl as Wilfried Böse
- Lior Ashkenazi as Yitzhak Rabin
- Mark Ivanir as Motta Gur
- Denis Ménochet as Jacques Le Moine
- Eddie Marsan as Shimon Peres
- Ben Schnetzer as Zeev Hirsch
- Peter Sullivan as Amos Eran
- Andrea Deck as Patricia Martel
- Brontis Jodorowsky as Captain Michel Bacos
- Angel Bonanni as Yonatan Netanyahu
- Nonso Anozie as Idi Amin
- Vincent Riotta as Dan Shomron
- Yiftach Klein as Ehud Barak
- Natalie Stone as Leah Rabin
- Trudy Weiss as Dora Bloch
- Michael Lewis as Major Muki Betser
- Juan Pablo Raba as Juan Pablo
- Tomer Kapon as soldier
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. 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.
Principal photography on the film began on 14 November 2016 in Malta, and production also took place in the U.K. A real hijacking took place during filming at the Malta International Airport.
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.
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." On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 49 out of 100, based on 29 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews."
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." 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."
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".
Commentator Daniel Greenfield called Entebbe "covertly anti-Israel" and compared it to another film about an Israeli counter-terrorist operation, 2005's Munich, in that, while neither showed Israelis in a negative light, they were both "hostile to the idea of fighting terrorists".
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. Director Padilha said that this placement was based on interviews with participants in the raid. 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. 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.
- Victory at Entebbe - a 1976 American TV film about the events of Operation Entebbe
- Raid on Entebbe - a 1977 American TV film about the same event
- Operation Thunderbolt - a 1977 Israeli film
- The Last King of Scotland - a 2006 British-German film containing the raid as a subplot
- The Delta Force - a 1986 Israeli-American action thriller partially inspired by the events
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