Kate Wright has written an excellent article at The American Thinker on Steven Spielberg’s new movie, “Munich.” Munich is a film that attempts to show a moral equivalence between the killing of innocent Israeli athletes by Arab terrorists and the subsequent hunting down and killing of those terrorists by Israelis.
The Israeli athletes who were assassinated by the PLO in Munich in 1972 did not die by tragedy, nor by moral failings. They were slaughtered. This was a massacre of innocents. At that time, and today, there are no doubts about what happened at the Olympics. We saw much of it live on television. Creating a fictional story about the secret Israeli response—based on speculative feelings of a fictional protagonist – distorts the truth of what actually happened in history.
This is the fictional story of a young Israeli named Avner (Eric Bana) who relinquishes his identity as a Mossad officer to lead the secret Israeli mission to track down 11 PLO operatives presumed to be responsible for planning and executing the Olympic slaughter. Because the mission is secret, Avner operates through highly paid informers. Neither Avner, nor his four-man team is privy to the Mossad’s strategy, nor are they apprised of the specific history and deeds of each targeted Palestinian.
The primary narrative is Avner’s internal story, expressed as conflict with Ephraim, the Mossad Chief (Geoffrey Rush), and Avner’s four-man team. Without a powerful onscreen antagonist who presents conflicting story values, Spielberg relies on flash-cuts from the opening sequence of the Munich slaughter to create tension. Unfortunately, story motivation cannot substitute for onscreen conflict, so the audience drifts away from the Israeli mission’s strategic assassinations, and instead redefines and experiences them as a series of consecutive murders Sicilian style. What begins as an extremely well-motivated story deliberately descends into an episodic narrative about vengeance, framed by rationalization.
Read more of this excellent article about Spielberg’s misguided attempt to depict Israeli “intransigence” as the principal cause of the failure to resolve the conflict between Palestinian Arabs and Israelis.
After the excellent “Schindler’s List” one is disappointed that Spielberg has such difficulty discerning the moral distinctions in the Arab-Israeli conflict.
I, for one, will not include “Munich” on my “must see” list this season.
Read “INDIANA SPIELBERG AND HIS JEWISH PROBLEM” at Horsefeathers for more background on this topic.
Also read Debbie Schlussel’s article at Front Page Magazine titled, “Spielberg’s Munich Pact.”