Sunday, January 08, 2006

München

We saw Munich this weekend, and while I'm not going to review the film, I would like to address some of the criticism that I have read about the movie. Some people have argued that Spielberg made the terrorists look too sympathetic. I don't know what movie these people were watching. Without giving too much away, the film featured a bone-chilling reenactment of the Israeli Olympic team being taken hostage by Black September and the botched attempt to free the hostages. If this wasn't enough to establish the depravity of terrorists, I'm not sure what would Spielberg could have done to assuage his critics. The story was told from the perspective of the Israelis who were sent to Europe to hunt down the people who orchestrated the massacre in Munich with little more than a list of names. The lack of specific information about the targets affected their mission and affected each man in a different way, and the movie was much more compelling this way than it would have been if Spielberg had depicted each target as a cartoon villain who was kicking puppies or stealing candy from babies when he wasn't plotting to destroy Israel.

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4 comments:

MDS said...

I haven't seen the movie, but if there's one thing I can't stand it's people who dislike movies because they either don't reflect complete historical accuracy or because they don't simply reflect the views of the audience. Spielberg has stated that he wants this movie to challenge people's beliefs. What his critics don't seem to realize is that by denouncing him, they're showing that he has succeeded.

dhodge said...

Most of the criticism I have read of Munich came from op-ed columnists, not film critics. I think it's a pretty safe bet that anytime an op-ed person gives a book, movie, TV show, etc. a glowing review, it's because it meshes with their worldview, and when they criticize it, it's because it does not.

dusty said...

And their worldview must be if a Muslim has a gun, he'd better be spewing invective at all times instead of making a level-headed point, that the hostage situation was about bringing attention to Palestinian eviction not just Death to America! and Death to Israel! I have seen this movie and quite enjoyed its moral ambiguity, but if Spielberg doesn't spend a mere 5 minutes giving the other side a mouthpiece. That's humanizing? A rebuttal? Had I not read any op-ed pieces, I would have just construed it as honest storytelling. Now I suppose I have to consider SS brave or something.

MDS said...

One of the reasons I like George Will is that I've read op-eds where he writes favorably about a book because it is well-written, even though he disagrees with its premise.