Sunday, December 24th 1994, 4 terrorists of the GIA took the control of the Air France 8969, in Alger before coming back to Paris. There were 220people on the plane, who had stayed 2days in Alger because the government didn’t authorized the airport to take off the gangway. The terrorists claimed the liberation of their army’s comrades. But this is only at the end of long diplomatic negociations between the French and the Algerian government and the execution of 3 passengers that the plane left Alger. The plane finally took off but they had to make a halt in Marseilles to get some more fuel. There, they were expected by the GIGN, who stopped the diversion. Sixteen people were hurt during the assault. Out of 30passengers who would be killed, there were only 3 because of the terrorists. They were used to making pressure on the governments. Out of 15 people from the GIGN who were feared to be killed during the assault, only one was. In fact he sacrificed himself : he jumped over a grenade to save people on the plane. This event caused the stop of the Air France flights to Algeria until 2003. It was said that the goal of the islamists was to touch a symbolic monument of Paris. They wanted to crash the plane on the Eiffel Tower.
This movie directed by Julien Leclercq relates this page of history in a novelizing manner. We follow all along the movie three different important characters. First there is Thierry played by Vincent Elbaz who is one of the GIGN members. Then, we can see Carole Jeanton, an ambitious technocrat and finally Yahia Abdallah a determined jiahadist. Their logic will clash until the final outcome. In live, in front of 21million TV viewers, the assault of the GIGN put this hostage-taking to an end.
This movie is really impressive because you can finally realize how efficient they are. These men risked their lives to save other people and I think that we don’t talk about them enough. Ask around you, how many people have ever heard about this episod? Because of the relation which links France and Algeria, we all make abstraction on what concerns Algeria because of the war of Independence (during which the two sides did horrible things) . I think that putting blinkers is not a good decision if we want to turn the page.
This movie shows also how tense the relation is, it is almost impossible for both governments to talk together and to make a decison shared by the two.
I recommend you this film, I hope you will enjoy it!