Excellent piece/interview on The Young Man Was…: Part 1, United Red Army, Naeem Mohaiemen’s film that was first shown at Sharjah Biennial X -and which I wrote about ‘live’ here. Naeem has a page on the film/project here.
Don’t miss the film whenever/wherever it screens. Interesting to see in some relation to Assayas’s surprisingly good biopic Carlos, which is still a very different project obviously [read Jonathan Romney here]. The latter sticks closest to/works with contemporary media sources in the first part to greatest effect in my view -although it’s less kind to the Japanese war effort! In any case, be sure to see The Young Man Was… which is a singularly powerful as well as meditative work on a complex subject.
SB: In a way, this was the apogee of terrorist hijackings, just as air flight was becoming increasingly democratised the world over. The JRA had already carried out two prior operations, in 1970 and 1973. You suggest, though, that 1977 was the endgame for a certain international stance regarding the protocols of negotiating and
meeting hijackers’ demands.
NM: Yes. The JAL472 takeover got incredible results: six of its members were released and the hijackers were paid $6 million in ransom – with little resistance from the authorities. This incident was followed by a global consensus that governments should not give in to demands. In fact, the Japanese government established a Special Assault Team in the aftermath of this incident. The Lufthansa hijack by the PFLP, only two weeks later, had a very different fate, ending with German GSG 9 commandos storming the plane in Mogadishu. Hanns-Martin Schleyer’s fate was also sealed by the German government’s refusal to negotiate.”