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The Scroll

No. 46: Munich

Israel’s existential plight

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2005, dir. Steven Spielberg. The finest of Spielberg’s “high-minded” “adult” movies follows a group of Mossad agents as they exact revenge for the PLO’s terrorist attacks at the 1972 Munich Olympic Games. It’s a great genre movie: a taut, blood-quickening thriller, with beautifully shot action sequences. It’s also a surprisingly ambivalent essay on Israel’s existential plight and the toll that violence exacts on nations and individuals.

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mark epstein says:

Gotta disagree with you on Munich. I am with the critics of the film, in that Spielberg takes artistic license with the book [Vengence (excellent book)by Jonas], and makes namby pamby arguments about moral relative equivalence which smacks of leftist liberal responses and excuses as to why people who do wrong should be looked on with sympathy. In contradiction to the latter, the book says: people who do henious acts should be punished (old testament like) no excuses but be careful when exacting punishment—you might be drawn into a vortex which will exact a toll on your soul and hurt you if you let emotion overcome you. Spielberg’s film fails miserably here by taking an excellent book and sexy subject and squeezing out the interest, diluting the themes and playing with the facts to make a lacklustre affair to forget.

Carrie says:

I am shocked. I was sure Tablet Mag would make this their #1 pick.

I also disagree on Munich. The theory of the movie was good, tracking the assasins as they hunt down the terrorists. But then it devolved into a push for the opinion that the two sides were equal and that the terrorists shouldn’t be punished. And it wasn’t like the story made the argument, he just got the actors to explicitly say the argument in their conversations. Lost cred in my eyes after that.

alottadreck says:

I liked this movie a lot but felt it could have used some of the “BearJew” action in it to give us Jews a chance to root for us!!! I also read “Vengeance” and thought that the earlier TV Movie “Sword of Gideon” with Steven Bauer had a better overall feel.
I wanna see a Spielberg version of the 1948 or 1967 Israel War with the style of Indiana Jones!!!…


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No. 46: Munich

Israel’s existential plight

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