Saturday 25 November 2017

Kevin Myers: No one has captured the Munich air disaster in drama because it was so large and so unfair

LAST Sunday's BBC film about the Manchester United plane crash at Munich was a perfect reminder of why drama cannot really tell us about history. Actual events are usually too complex to render into a palatable narrative and in the case of Munich, the fare was simply too protein-rich, the possible storylines too varied.

So the Munich disaster is a dramatic conundrum. The story of the greatest football team England had ever produced, under the greatest manager Britain has ever known, being all but wiped out in a plane crash remains immune to narrative reconstruction. Why?

The fundamental ingredients are there: the English league insisting that Manchester United return for a domestic match; the determination of Matt Busby not to forfeit English league points; the insistence of the pilot on taking off in almost impossible conditions. There you have it -- hubris galore, with Nemesis poised.

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