• Considering the recent release of “Munich” by Spielberg, I thought I might ask how people felt about the movie (particularly in the light of current terrorism woes), or their experience with the original situation at the Olympic games.

    I wasn’t even a drunken afterthought in '72, but I watched “One Day in September” - great documentary about Munich games hostage situation, NOT about 9/11 - and it had me mesmerized about the whole thing.  I have yet to see “Munich,” so please don’t ruin the experience for me or anyone else.

    My impression on Spielberg’s movie is that he doesn’t necessary excuse the retaliatory attacks by the Israelis, and tends to project the opinion that violence makes violence, none of which is good.

    Your thoughts?

  • I was hoping someone would open a thread about this.  Here’s a piece I wrote while exchanging e-mails with a friend on Lost in Translation.  Hope it doesn’t give anything away.
    Hmm…I am wondering if my comments right now are influenced by seeing Munich over the weekend.  I felt Spielberg was reaching for a particular audience, specifically the hard conservative Israelis.  While the movie isn’t sympathetic to the Palestinians, it’s not unsympathetic to them either.  But really, it creates very thin Palestinian characters without really exploring what it is they are doing.  I believe Spielberg chose this route because he wanted to appeal to those conservatives, who really don’t give a damn what the Palestinians feel or want or need.  Rather, the movie showed everything a right-wing Israeli would see:  murders, terror, etc.  It also expressed the rage, anger, and frustration of the conservatives as well.  But then it showed what the logical extension of all those feelings, what those ideas would lead to, and not on a social level, but a deeply personal one, especially how loving Israel can make you less Jewish.

    As such, I don’t think this is an Israel-Palestine movie.  It’s something that has been done rarely:  an Israel-Israel movie.  It’s an attempt in my mind to bridge the gap between the deep divisions in Israeli society.  Or maybe not bridge, but convince the other side.  Hence, its appeal and its focus are tightly played on the self-destructive nature of revenge, typical in some ways of many revenge movies recently (with the notable exception of Quentin Tarrantino), but also elevating that sensibility and relating it to a concrete social dilemma.

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