“Munich” in Malta

A few weeks ago, when I first was in Malta’s capital to take some photos of Valletta for you,  the scenery and atmosphere reminded me of the film “Munich” by Steven Spielberg (2005).

The film, staying close to real events, describes the Israeli effort to track down and kill the Palestinian terrorists who were responsible for the Munich massacre, when Palestinians attacked the Israeli team at the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich, Germany and took them hostage. The Palestinian terrorists killed 11 of the Israeli sportsmen and one German police officer.

I remember thinking, as I was lingering through the narrow and steep streets of Valletta: “This would have been a perfect place to shoot parts of ‘Munich’ “. It turned out that someone else had exactly the same idea.

Large parts of “Munich” were actually filmed at various locations in Malta, standing in for scenes that play in Tel Aviv, the West Bank, Beirut, Cyprus, Spain, Athens and Rome in the film.

The hotel explosion that you see on the DVD cover above and in the short trailer above was filmed in Bugibba, just a few hundred meters from where I live now. In the film, the hotel is in Cyprus.

I am especially proud because I discovered and recognised this hotel by accident during my evening stroll around Bugibba tonight. I waited with taking a photo until it was dark, to increase the resemblance to what it looks like in the film.

Primera Hotel, Bugibba, Malta – 25 December 2011 – (C) Andreas Moser

The same hotel being blown up in “Munich”.

The following photo from the film also must have been shot somewhere in Malta.

the Israeli agents in “Munich”

And this one most definitely, as you can see from the typical Maltese yellow bus in the background.

“Damn, the bus gives it away. We should have blown it up as well.”

When Avner (Eric Bana) and Ephraim (Geoffrey Rush [“The King’s Speech“]) walk along the promenade in Tel Aviv, Israel, they are really in Sliema, Malta.

I will try to find this exact spot in Sliema and take a photo to post it here.

The following outdoor café scene takes place in Rome, Italy but was filmed in Rabat, Malta.

IMDB says that other scenes were filmed in Cospicua, at Malta International Airport at Luqa, Marsaxlokk (representing Athens), at Republic Square in Valletta (for the outdoor café meeting between Avner, Andreas and Tony) and in Valletta again (for the hotel in Athens).

I will try to find all these locations and document them with photographs. If you live in Malta and you know one of the locations’ exact whereabouts, please let me know. And if you are Hollywood and looking for a location scout in Malta, please do the same.

By the way, “Munich” is a good film. If you haven’t seen it yet, watch it and then come to Malta!

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About Andreas Moser

Travelling the world and writing about it. I have degrees in law and philosophy, but I'd much rather be a journalist, a spy or a hobo.
This entry was posted in Israel, Malta, Photography, Terrorism and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

16 Responses to “Munich” in Malta

  1. Pingback: Film Review: “The King’s Speech” | The Happy Hermit – Andreas Moser's Blog

  2. John Erickson says:

    I believe there were some World War 2-based movies filmed in Malta (for locations other than Malta, obviously), though I can’t recall what they were. If I remember, I’ll drop you a comment here.
    Hope you had a good first Christmas in your new home!

  3. Adrian says:

    Hi Andreas,

    Below is a list of films shot in Malta:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_films_shot_in_Malta

    These videos may also be interesting to watch:


    http://www.youtube.com/user/filmmalta/search?query=malta

    And for the locations; i marked them on Google maps although I’m not 100% sure about the lactation of the Dock in Cospicua:

    “Republic Square in Valletta (for the outdoor café meeting between Avner, Andreas and Tony) ”
    http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/252/captureyry.jpg/

    “Cospicua”
    http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/705/capturetil.jpg/

    “Malta International Airport”
    http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/43/captureojd.jpg/

    “Sliema”
    http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/690/capturezws.jpg/

    “Rabat”
    http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/195/capturewyr.jpg/

    Hope this helps ;)

    • Thank you very much!

    • TaniaB says:

      Adrian, the Cospicua location, is Dock no. 5, however it is currently out of bounds, since they are working on it .

      The opening scene is Ta Qali Stadium, whereas the scene where they attack the villa is Dingli Cliffs. There is also a scene in an old house in Valletta, as well as shots of St Paul’s Street in Valletta,

      I was not sure about all these locations, but checked with someone who is involved in the film industry here and whose dad worked on Munich. :))

  4. Lee Ellis says:

    you can get a glimpse of the Dock in Cospicua but you better hurry since its being demolished to make space for a much needed public area! By the way I live in Senglea which is a minute away from the said location.

  5. jakesprinter says:

    Absolutely great post Moser :)

  6. John Tanti says:

    Hi Andreas, you can watch this movie, entirely shot in Malta in 1970, most scenes are still recogniseable especialy Valletta. Its called Eyewitness (or Sudden Terror for the US) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E66Q0W4RMsw
    Also look out for Midnight Express, shot in Malta (as Turkey, even foreign dialog is mostly Maltese by Maltese actors posing as Turks). Prison location unfortunately is out of bounds and a derilict location.
    Another movie is Black Eagle with Jean Claude Van Damme shot in 1988 mostly in Valletta.
    You can also have a look at Rinella, where you can spot various props from movies and commercial spots shot there, worth noting is the metal scaled model still there of the Titanic as used in Raise the Titanic.

    By the way the spot in Sliema is on the sea front, about 300 meters past the Tower next to Exiles (direction of St Julians to Sliema), look out for the kiosk (as seen behind Goeffrey Rush – actors are walking towards St Julians). Scene with yellow Maltese bus is in Valletta on the bridge, next to Victoria gate, if you go down from Upper Barrakka and look or ask for the Bridge Bar, you’ll come to the Bridge (hand rails are unmistakable).

  7. Blog Raju says:

    Thank you for commenting on my blog!
    I watched “Munich” a few years ago. It is a very good movie.
    The photos on this blog are beautiful. Perhaps I should visit Malta soon.

  8. WanderWoman says:

    I love Malta! Not many Americans make the extra trek to get to it but I visited years ago and still treasure my time there. I love to find movies that where filmed in Malta so thanks for opening the door to this subject! I wish I were in Sliema right now, walking down that beautiful promenade and I’d love to visit Gozo again as well. Enjoy that beautiful country. :)

  9. John Vella says:

    Munich and Clash of the Titans (1981) were filmed at the Dock No. 1 area at Bormla (known also as Cospicua). There are also many heritage sites which can be used especially for films with a War time or historic background as Fort Verdala, St. Clement’s parade grounds, and other medieval streets and alleys not yet discovered by film-makers. Glad to help if necessary.

  10. Pingback: Palestinians at the Olympic Games, now and then | The Happy Hermit

  11. joyce says:

    am joyce from Ghana i want malta lotto chart book. i want the address pls help me

  12. Pingback: Film Review: “Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy” | The Happy Hermit

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