The terror attack in the Munich Olympics in 1972 is one of the most iconic terror events in the history of the 20th century due of the special conditions, which it happened in, and the excessive media coverage. There are over 10 films- both fiction and documentaries that re-enacted this event. Using these films as a reference point, the video examines the mechanism of re-enacting historical events using cinematic and television tools, and show how the viewer’s understanding of an event can be changed through subtle changes in the characters looks.
In the films one can see how the terrorists entered the Olympic village dressed up in tracksuits to disguise themselves as sportsmen, changed to eccentric costumes like a safari suit and a cowboy costume, and woke up the sportsmen who slept in their underwear. Later German policemen wore tracksuits, in order to ambush the terrorists – again, disguised as sportsmen but wearing military helmets too, than changed to pilots costumes trying to ambush them in an airplane that was suppose to take them to Cairo. Finally the Israeli Olympic team wore tracksuits and other civilian clothing when they left the room where they were held hostage. The action of changing clothes and costumes during the event serves as a Leitmotiv and establishes the characters into the roles of those who were involved in the real event, but also the characters in the re-enactments. It is the connecting thread between the event and its representation through cinematic means.
During the video 11 men with the help of a costumes designer, constantly changed clothing, according to the plot re-enacted in the films and therefore constantly changing roles from being a victim to a perpetrator and back. two large double-sided mirrors (spy mirrors) were placed in the filmed room; these mirrors served as extras for the costume fittings, but also function as a window for the cameras to shoot from the outside. The use of the mirrors gave the video a look of a reality show like “ Big brother”, where people are put on display for 24 hours, and created an effect of multiplicity and resemblance of characters.