15 Minutes of War

15 MINUTES OF WAR CELEBRATES HOW LONG TERRORISTS WERE SHOT DOWN

Based on an incident in 1976, Somali terrorists kidnapped a bus of 31 children going to school in the French colony of Djibouti. The Somalis wanted to exchange the kids for release of their brethren. Paris sought negotiations while a small group of sharpshooters waited 30 hours in oppressive heat for orders to attack. 15 Minutes of War, directed by Fred Grivois, devotes much attention to trivial conversation until Captain André Gerval (played by Alban Lenoir) finally decides to give an unauthorized order to attack, which kills the Somalis yet with one dead child.

Despite the thin story, which could have provided more depth by demonstrating incompetence in Paris, the Political Film Society has nominated 15 Minutes of War (L’intervention) as best film exposé of 2019 for bringing to light a forgotten episode that served (according to credits at the end) in building a corps of hostage fighters and brought independence to the country in 1977.  MH