Background of the docu-drama “Todesspiel” by writer and director Heinrich Breloer is the culmination of the terror attacks in Germany in 1977, later called the “German Autumn”. The two-parter tells the story of the RAF kidnapping of Hanns Martin Schleyer, President of the Employers’ Association, on 5 September and the abduction of the Lufthansa plane “Landshut” on 13 October 1977 by a Palestinian terrorist squad.
The idea and initiative for the film came from Ulrich Lenze, a producer who was able to raise some seven million marks. Breloer uses resources of the staged play, supported by original photographs and descriptions of people involved, whom he interviewed on camera. Among them are Schleyer’s kidnappers, crew and passengers of the “Landshut” as well as politicians such as Helmut Schmidt.
For 40 days, the world held its breath. Heinrich Breloer succeeds perfectly in making this real-life drama an exciting and emotional reconstruction and at the same time writing a piece of German TV history.