A soppy movie shot through with dan­ger

The Scottish Mail on Sunday - - Comment -

ROSAMUND PIKE is one of the clever­est and wit­ti­est ac­tresses of our time, as she showed in the won­der­ful An Ed­u­ca­tion. And it is in­ter­est­ing to see the 1970s, that lost decade, so metic­u­lously recre­ated in her new film En­tebbe, an OK but flawed ac­count about the hi­jack­ing of an Air France jet.

The great thing about En­tebbe was that the brav­ery and skill of the Is­raeli com­man­dos meant al­most all the hostages were saved, and the ter­ror­ists were killed. This was a dis­tinct turn for the bet­ter in an era when hi­jack­ers far too of­ten got away with their crimes.

No­body wept or won­dered if this had been the right thing to do. These dis­gust­ing peo­ple, Ger­mans among them, had ac­tu­ally sep­a­rated the Jewish pas­sen­gers from the oth­ers. They were bad enough be­fore they did that. After they did it, they had passed into a zone of evil from which there can be no re­turn.

But there is some­thing dan­ger­ously soppy about the film’s at­ti­tude to­wards the hi­jack­ers. Sure, they were hu­man. That is pre­cisely why their ac­tions de­served to be ended and pun­ished with vi­o­lent death. Be­cause they knew bet­ter.

The film’s ap­par­ent be­lief that ne­go­ti­a­tion, even with such peo­ple, is a good thing is sim­ply un­true. It is pre­cisely be­cause we have talked to and re­warded so many ter­ror­ists, from the PLO to the IRA, that ter­ror­ism con­tin­ues to flour­ish.

If all ter­ror­ists died as the En­tebbe crim­i­nals died, there would be a lot less ter­ror.

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