Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Munich (2005)

This is another move I wanted to see in the theater, but ended up watching at home. As with a lot of Spielberg movies, it is visually arresting and has a feeling of depth, but I couldn't help but be disappointed in it. As I knew going in, instead of being a movie about the murder of Israeli athletes by Palestinian terrorists during the 1972 Munich Olympics, the film deals with the supposed Mossad mission to track down and execute the terrorists one by one. The story has only been unofficially acknowledged, and the screenplay was based on two widely doubted books.

One of the themes of Munich is that vengeance begets vengeance in an endless cycle. The movie doesn't take into account the various motivations of such violence. Then as now, terrorists target innocent civilians. Their aim is to cause fear and arrest the attention of the world. Israelis (and Americans) go out of their way to prevent harm to innocents. The screenwriters put both sides on the same moral plane and plant the insidious message that to be righteous is to be passive and weak.

Despite my qualms over the message of the film, you should watch the movie and make your own judgment.

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