Carlos

From Tzivi’s Feb ’11 Spotlight:

You probably missed Carlos during its brief run at the Music Box Theatre last December, but this category-bender has since appeared on numerous “Ten Best” lists (including my own). Originally made for French television, Carlos was released in two forms: a three-episode version (which runs almost 6 hours and received a Golden Globe nomination in the “Best Mini-Series” category) and a “Road Show” version (condensed down to 3 hours and still available on On Demand as I write).

While most of my colleagues have focused on actor Édgar Ramírez’ stunning performance as Ilich Ramírez Sánchez aka “Carlos the Jackal,” I found myself more interested in the world refracted through the career of this mediagenic self-mythologizer. While Sánchez claimed to support the Palestinian cause, Carlos depicts a terrorist mercenary following the money for over two decades, until the rise of Muslim fundamentalism, combined with the fall of the Berlin Wall, robbed him of his usefulness to the countries that had sheltered and funded him.

Before you see Carlos, I recommend a memory refresher. In June 1976, members of Carlos’ team hijacked a plane in Athens and flew south to Entebbe Airport in Uganda. Thinking themselves safely tucked under Dictator Idi Amin’s wing, they cordoned off all the Jewish passengers, released the non-Jews, and threatened to murder their hostages unless Israel complied with various demands. The Israel Defense Force assault on Entebbe (in which all the terrorists were killed and almost all of the hostages were freed) is the culminating event of episode #2 of Carlos, and the beginning of Sánchez’ long slide into the French jail in which he is now serving a life sentence.

Édgar Ramírez as "Carlos."

Follow links below for more on four films specifically about Entebbe (3 available now on DVD):

Cohen on the Bridge

Entebbe: The History Channel

Operation Thunderbolt

Raid on Entebbe

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