During the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich, eleven Israeli athletes are taken hostage and murdered by a Palestinian terrorist group known as Black September. In retaliation, the Israeli government recruits a group of Mossad agents to track down and execute those responsible for the attack.
Good but not realy well explaned
WITH his latest film, “Munich,” Steven Spielberg forgoes the emotional bullying and pop thrills that come so easily to him to tell the story of a campaign of vengeance that Israel purportedly brought against Palestinian terrorists in the wake of the 1972 Olympics. An unsparingly brutal look at two peoples all but drowning in a sea of their own blood, “Munich” is by far the toughest film of the director’s career and the most anguished. Mr. Spielberg has been pummeling audiences with his virtuosity for nearly as long as he has been making movies; now, he tenders an invitation to a discussion.
Do not get caught up in the film’s political aura. “Munich” is, above all else, a ’70s-style Hollywood thriller, with big sets, carefully contrived suspense, lots of murky gunplay in dark European alleys and the hoariest of all espionage clichés – the femme fatale in the hotel bar.
Spielberg is using the effective form of a thriller to argue that loops of mutual reprisal have led to endless violence in the Middle East, Ireland, India and Pakistan, the former Yugoslavia, the former Soviet Union, Africa, and on and on. Miraculous, that the pariah nation of South Africa was the one place where irreconcilable enemies found a way to peacefully share the same land together.
Spielberg has attracted, even before the fact, a great deal of criticism for the crime of moral equivalency; that is, he shows how at the ground level, the ideologies tend to vaporize, and you are left with the squalor of violence. You can hate a man, yes, for what he has done and what he represents, but at a certain point, it’s difficult to bear that in mind. If you shoot him in the head, he reacts exactly as a man who is innocent would react: There’s really only one way to react to a bullet in the head. The movie is about the cost of such repetition, and how it kills the soul.