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American Experience: Hijacked (2005)

David McCullough , David Ogden Stiers  |  NR |  DVD
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: David McCullough, David Ogden Stiers, Michael Murphy, Joe Morton, Linda Hunt
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo)
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: PBS
  • DVD Release Date: February 28, 2006
  • Run Time: 60 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000CCCZYK
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #323,023 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "American Experience: Hijacked" on IMDb

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

For more than 30 years it would be known as "the blackest day in aviation history." In September 1970, members of the militant Palestinian group, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), hijacked five commercial airplanes. To attract attention to the Palestinian cause and secure the release of several of their comrades, the PFLP spectacularly blew up four of the planes. Hijacked! examines how and when Middle East militants began to see civilians as legitimate pawns in the struggle for self-determination.

From the Back Cover

For more than 30 years it would be known as "the blackest day in aviation history." On September 6, 1970, members of the militant Palestinian group, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (P.L.F.P.), hijacked four commercial airplanes. They commandeered a fifth aircraft three days later. Wanting to attract attention to the Palestinian cause and secure the release of several of their comrades, the P.L.F.P. spectacularly blew up four of the planes.

Today the commanders who planned and carried out the attack resist comparison to the terrorists who masterminded the events of September 11, 2001: members of the P.L.F.P. were not religious extremists, but secular Marxist Leninists. And of the almost 600 passengers taken hostage, none were killed. And yet more than three decades later, it is clear that a connection exists between the two seminal events, that September 6, 1970 gave birth to a new era of terrorism. In telling this dramatic and complicated story, award-winning producer Ilan Ziv interviews leaders of the P.L.F.P., militants who carried out the attack, journalists who covered the hijackings, crew members and passengers. More than just recounting the events of those tense September days, this American Experience production examines how and when Middle East militants began to see civilians as legitimate pawns in their struggles for self-determination.


Customer Reviews

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
On September 6, 1970, three teams of terrorists belonging to the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) hijacked five different commercial aircraft. Although labeled at the time as the `blackest day in aviation history', it would also end up with the infamous distinction of being America's first serious introduction to global terrorism.

In a riveting timeline that covers the several days of this situation, this documentary explores the entire affair as comprehensively as possible and does it well in my opinion. Interviews with former hijackers, journalists, politicians, and passengers and crew members provide compelling and emotional insights into the unique roles some of them played and descriptions of events many of them witnessed. Beginning with the commandeering of the aircraft and the reasons for doing so, this leads into a historical look at a politically turbulent Middle East climate at that time.

Inevitably, the United States and Europe would become key players in the events and with Israel's adamant refusals to cooperate in any way with terrorists, this would end up further complicating the frightening set of circumstances.

Even though most of the Palestinian demands were never met and remarkably no hostages were killed, a message was still sent to the world when the hijackers destroyed four of the five aircraft in massive explosions.

Over thirty years later and in a continuing volatile and oftentimes unpredictable climate in the Middle East and other parts of the world, some eerie and sinister comparisons can be made between that fateful day in 1970 and the horrific attacks in New York in September of 2001.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Reasonable Historical Perspective February 22, 2009
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As a historical review of what was one of the more dramatic events of the 20th century, this movie is well done. It presents the evidence fairly, interviews both captives and hijackers, and gives them fair representation. It is typical of the quality of PBS.
Only negative comment is that it links this hijacking to later terrorist acts, which takes it out of context.
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3.0 out of 5 stars I was on that BOAC plane which was hijacked! April 6, 2014
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I was on that BOAC plane which was hijacked in 1970! I was a bit disappointed as the whole documentary was a skimmed version of what happened. Even though this happened more than 30 years ago I still remember details like it happened yesterday!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Context October 7, 2013
By Warlock
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This is a great piece in a very complex puzzle. I've watched it everyday since it arrived. Put it with Munich, PBS Elusive Peace. It's a must see, but put it context with other middle east documentaries. It clears a lot of things, but it also brings up many more questions of why we in the U.S need to know more about this region.
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