Tuesday, January 03, 2006


I saw the movie “Munich” the other day. I liked it, but I share some of the criticisms that many critics and pundits have been making about the movie. Despite my own criticisms, the movie is still worth seeing. All in all, compared to many of the movies coming out these days, “Munich” was quite good, actually.

Problem 1:

The script makes the Munich massacre seem like the only reason Israel decided to bump off the PLO scum. The truth is, Munich was a link in a long chain of terrorist attacks, many of which rivaled the Munich Massacre’s nastiness. I wish there had been more emphasis on that salient point. To examine Israel’s actions following Munich is like trying to learn about anti-Semitism using only the Holocaust as your focus and ignoring all previous anti-Semitism.

Problem 2:

There was a scene, or perhaps a number of sequences, when the film would show an image of Israeli retribution against the terrorists responsible for the Munich Massacre, and then timely news reports about Arab terrorist attacks against Israeli targets. The intended result: The Arabs are retaliating because of Israel’s actions. Violence begets violence, cycle of violence, blah blah. Nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, during one of those moralizing scenes the movie used old news footage of the machine gunning of scores of Israelis waiting at an El Al check in terminal in Rome. That terrorist attack was committed by Abu Nidal, a Palestinian terrorist group NOT connected to the PLO or Black September (BS was a secret arm of the PLO). Abu Nidal’s gang was going around killing Israelis regardless of what other Arab terrorist groups were doing. They would have slaughtered in Rome whether retaliation for Munich ever happened or not. The PLO and any of it’s other hydras would have continued terrorist attacks whether Israel retaliated or not. Hell, Israel has since given away huge chunks of the West Bank and all of Gaza and in principle agreed to a two state solution sharing Jerusalem and that hasn’t stopped the Palestinian terror machine!

Problem 3:

The movie makes it clear that it is based off of accounts of the events based off of a book and therefore is not meant to be an exact rendering of events as they occurred (and it’s the murky world of spies, so nobody will ever know the exact truth), but it is easy to forget that fact once one gets involved in the movie. I think the writers (writer: Tony Kushner, a well-known Jewish Israel hater) took a little too much artistic freedom at times, but to be fair it may have been necessary in order to give the movie more depth, to give the main characters more richness and individuality. The problem is, I didn’t appreciate some of the “artistic freedom” Kushner took with his Israeli assassins; I thought it was done to make the movie exciting and probably didn’t represent what professional Mossad members are like or how they behave.

Problem 4:

At the end there is a really bizarre scene when Avner is making love to his wife and as their passion grows, images of the Munich Massacre keep flashing in Avner’s mind. I found it a strange, perhaps inappropriate mix and still don’t understand the point. The only thing I got out of that scene was that the next time I’m having sex (which if things go as planned should be soon), if I feel that I’m about to cum too soon, I suppose thinking about terrorism might help me hold back a bit longer.

Despite my complaints and others’, the movie is well-worth seeing. Now only if I could find a girl to go see Brokeback Mountain with me…


Blogger airforcewife said...

I've been totally avoiding Munich, but I might go see it on base (3$ a pop and no supporting of Hollywood to ruin my conscience) based on your description.

I saw the documentary, and it was so damn good and affected me so much that I can't really see why a dramatization needed to be made.

3:54 PM  
Blogger semite1973 said...

Plus, there was a movie about it already: Sword of Gideon. It was very, very similar to Munich. I don't recall when it was made, perhaps in the early '80's. Because both films are so similar, I am betting both were based off of the same book. The entire truth will never and should never be known. Too bad Israel didn't kill more of the PLO scum.

5:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sounds like Spielberg should stick to filming space aliens & other figments of his imagination.

Reckon I'll avoid "Munich" in favour of the Oscar-rated "Get Rich Or Die Tryin', Yo! Mutha!" the richly-textured, subtly-nuanced 50cent biopic.


9:25 AM  

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