Mogadischu (film)

Mogadischu is a 2008 German made-for-TV thriller film chronicling the events surrounding the hijacking of Lufthansa Flight 181 by the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine in 1977. Directed by Roland Suso Richter, it was first shown on public broadcasting channel Das Erste on 30 November 2008.

Mogadischu 2008 Promo Poster.jpg
Promotional poster
Directed byRoland Suso Richter
Produced by
  • Gabriela Sperl
  • Nico Hofmann
  • Jürgen Schuster
Written byMaurice Philip Remy
Music byMartin Todsharow
Release date
30 November 2008
Running time
108 minutes


On 13 October 1977, Lufthansa Flight 181, a Boeing 737-230 Adv named Landshut, is on its way from the vacation island of Mallorca to Frankfurt when it is hijacked by a team of four terrorists representing the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine. They demand the release of several leaders of the Red Army Faction imprisoned in Germany. German Chancellor Helmut Schmidt refuses to negotiate with terrorists, aware that he is endangering not only the lives aboard the Landshut, but also that of German business leader Hanns Martin Schleyer, who is being held hostage by the RAF.

The plane makes its way through several stops to Aden, Yemen, where the captain, Jürgen Schumann, is murdered by the hijackers. The plane continues on its way, eventually landing in Mogadishu, Somalia. As flight attendant Gabriele Dillmann and the surviving crew try their best to keep their passengers safe and calm, Colonel Ulrich Wegener leads the German federal police's newly formed counter-terrorism unit, GSG 9, in preparations to storm the Landshut.

In the night between 17 and 18 October, Chancellor Schmidt gives Wegener the order to storm the plane and free the hostages. Somalian ranger units create a fire as a distraction, allowing members of the GSG 9 to approach the Landshut from behind and from the sides. Operation "Feuerzauber" is successful, with all hostages rescued. Three hijackers are gunned down and killed, the fourth is seriously injured. One GSG 9 member and a flight attendant are injured. Schmidt is informed by phone that "the job is done."



Filming took place between October and December 2007, at locations in Munich, Berlin, Ulm, Bonn, and Casablanca. The working title was Mogadischu Welcome.

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