New mini-series "Munich Games": Nerve-wracking continuation of a tragedy

Whenever a man-made tragedy, a bestial deed has happened, the sentence is said afterwards that history must not repeat itself.

New mini-series "Munich Games": Nerve-wracking continuation of a tragedy

Whenever a man-made tragedy, a bestial deed has happened, the sentence is said afterwards that history must not repeat itself. On September 5, 1972, exactly 50 years ago, a crime of this kind happened during the Olympic Games in Munich: Palestinian terrorists broke into the Olympic Village and took eleven Israeli athletes and coaches hostage. Excessive demands and numerous wrong decisions ultimately led to the catastrophe: all eleven hostages and one policeman were killed.

To mark the 50th anniversary, "Munich Games" is a six-part mini-series set exactly 50 years after the assassination. From September 4, Sky One will show the first two episodes as a double episode, then one each week on Sundays. Episodes one and two will be available on Sky Q and the Wow streaming service from September 2nd. The Sky Original takes on the difficult topic in a multifaceted way and also asks uncomfortable questions. About how far you can actually go so that history does not repeat itself.

To commemorate the victims of the 1972 attack and to send a signal for peace, a friendly match between an Israeli and a German soccer team is to take place in Munich on the 50th anniversary. Both the authorities and the secret services put the planned game on high alert. Because the event also offers a symbolic day for the other side: What if a similar or even worse attack is carried out exactly 50 years after the terrorist act?

A discovery by Mossad agent Oren Simon (Yousef Sweid, 46), who works in Berlin, fuels these fears. A few days before the game, he found evidence on the Darknet that another attack could indeed be planned. He is then brought together with the LKA officer Maria Köhler (Seyneb Saleh, 34) in order to put a stop to the alleged masterminds. Not an easy task if you don't trust each other either.

"Munich Games" is in the best tradition of other political thriller series. As in "Homeland" or "24", the question is raised as to whether the end really justifies the middle. "You always have to be able to afford morality," is the pragmatic answer of a character in "Munich Games" to this tricky question. But is that true?

According to producer Amelie von Kienlin, the aim was to use "Munich Games" to deal with "collective memory and social prejudices, nationalism and radicalism that come from different directions". This also means: The aim was to consciously distance oneself from the one-sided black-and-white depiction, to which material with such themes often degenerates.

Author Michal Aviram, known for her work on the Israeli television series "Fauda", came up with the story for "Munich Games" together with Martin Behnke ("Berlin Alexanderplatz", 44). This was captured on film by director Philipp Kadelbach ("Wir Kinder vom Bahnhof Zoo", 47).

Things are also international in front of the camera: Seyneb Saleh plays the German civil servant with Lebanese roots, Yousef Sweid mimics her colleague from the Mossad. Other roles include Sebastian Rudolph, Dov Glickman, Bernd Hölscher, Igal Naor, Evgenia Dodina, Roger Azar, Juliane Köhler and Anton Spieker.

"In order to preserve the cultural identity of the individual characters, it was particularly important to me that everyone speaks their own language authentically," reveals director Kadelbach. However, viewers have two options: an original version with German subtitles that can be switched on, or an audio version that has been completely translated into German.

Anyone who wants to find out more about the assassination attempt of September 5, 1972 in addition to "Munich Games" can do so as well: The docudrama "1972 - Munich's black September" will run on September 4, 2022 at 10:10 p.m. on Sky Documentaries. The film will be available on demand from Sky and the Wow streaming service from September 2nd. The documentation reconstructs the course of the crime from three perspectives: that of the victims, the perpetrators and the police officers.

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