[Marxism] "Munich" - Morning Star review
e.c.apling at btinternet.com
Fri Jan 27 02:34:28 MST 2006
Below is the review of "Spielberg's "Munich" in today's Mornign Star:
(Friday 27 January 2006)
Directed by Stephen Spielberg
JEFF SAWTELL watches as Stephen Spielberg throws a spanner in the
works and gives us his view of the events in Israel in 1972.
Not since Schindler's List has Stephen Spielberg provoked such
controversy. You may remember that, following his Holocaust tale, he
included an epilogue that was effectively a recruiting film for Israel.
With his new film Munich, about Israel's attempt to assassinate the
Palestinians responsible for organising the attack on their athletes
at the 1972 Olympics, Spielberg has managed to upset people in both camps.
Based on George Jonas's controversial book Vengeance as interpreted
by scriptwriters Tony Kushner and Eric Roth, it's supposed to be an
account according to the former Mossad agent Yuval Aviv.
Naturally, the zionists accuse Spielberg of being anti-Israel,
despite the fact that critics in the other camp criticise him for
failing to illustrate the extent of the Palestinian suffering.
Spielberg counters this by insisting that Schindler proved that he
wasn't anti-Israel and that he's simply asking questions about the
immorality of illegally executing Israel's enemies.
Understandably, since all of the major characters are Jewish, critics
have pointed out that the Palestinian characters are, with one
exception, largely the terrorist image of Israeli propaganda.
Quite simply, if you didn't know anything about the events, you might
just see it as an overlong action film about Israeli terrorists
terrorising Arab terrorists before some of the former see the error
of their ways.
For those who haven't a clue what happened in 1972, the film opens
with a review of events as seen by the Western media - a group
sneaking over the fence and taking 11 hostages.
They are members of Black September, a faction of the Fedayeen who
were prepared to sacrifice themselves to draw international attention
to Israel's criminal occupation of Palestine.
After killing two and taking nine others hostage, they negotiated the
release of some 234 Palestinian prisoners before the German
authorities botched an attempt to rescue them in a chaotic shoot-out.
The hostages were killed, along with five of the kidnappers and one
policeman. Three hostages were caught and later released in another
hostage-swap deal, so prompting Golda Meir to introduce Operation
Wrath of God.
Apparently, they redrafted Avia aka Avner (Eric Bana) from
intelligence into the new unit - not to be seen as Mossad - so that
they could masquerade as mavericks employing anybody useful to their cause.
Forced to leave behind his pregnant wife, he joins up with a driver
(Daniel Craig), an explosives expert (Mathieu Kassovitch), a document
forger (Hanns Zischler) and a clean-up guy (Ciaran Hinds).
Their mission takes them on the scenic route of some European cities
and Beirut, each time making a mess of the place and the people
before the carnage begins to take its toll on their consciousness.
Aided and abetted by a mysterious group of "unaligned" suppliers,
they demonstrate that, to be effective, they have to work separately
and in co-operation with the CIA and the KGB.
After two hours of slaughter, Avner sums up the growing doubts that
affect some of the group by asking: "Who exactly are we killing? Can
it be justified? Will it stop the terror?"
Sadly, since you never see the conditions of the Palestinian camps -
the exiled seem to live in luxury - the audience is directed to
identify with the cause before condemning it.
Naturally, as seen during many so-called anti-war films, ignorant
audiences might do exactly the opposite of what film-makers intended
and enjoy the spectacle irrespective of the implied immorality.
There are no examples of the "accidental" killings of innocents. And
what are we to make of the closing shot of the Twin Towers - surely
not an attempt to link Black September with September 11?
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