Munich (2005)

Israel and Palestine are not simple subjects and there is no review of a movie like this that can attempt to answer greater questions of morality and right or wrong.  I think there were a lot of uncomfortable questions raised in this movie and even without a vested interest, I felt weary and worn out by the end.

I would venture to say that if you get hung up on Palestine’s desire for a homeland or Israel’s right to protect theirs or whether it made a good thriller or if it was historically accurate then you missed Avner.

In The Good Shepherd we see into the lives of CIA men and find that they aren’t always who we wish they were.  In Munich, we see how events and nations and situations affect the men and women caught up in them.  You get questions of faith versus patriotic duty.  If we believe the one but are compelled to do the other then what are we in the end?  You get questions comparing Operation Wrath of God to Eichmann’s capture.  We were justified before, surely we are justified now?  Does it matter if there’s collateral damage, who is innocent, are armed guards to be considered off-limits?  You see money and men spent to achieve goals that are not actually the ones stated but instead are other goals which are “just as good”.  There is a deliberate effort to make the audience question not only what is seen on-screen but the day-to-day events in real life.  You are meant to see the madness lying in wait in the end.

Does it drag on endlessly?  Yes.  Are neat answers given and solutions to problems given?  No, not really.  Is it possible that there was merely the appearance of ponderous and weighty issues?  Always possible but not likely in this case.  Is it unique?  Yes.  This is a unique spy film.  It is not a spoof.  It is not a Bond clone.  It is not an “American” orgy of violence.  It is unlike almost every other spy movie you’ll see.  How much does that matter in our genre?  A lot.  So many of them are the same,sometimes it’s nice to get a care package from someone who wants you have something you don’t normally get, something that isn’t pasteurized and homogenized.

Ignore all of that if you want.  Look at it in a new light.  Consider this movie as setting a stage where you can replace the actors and the scenery and the choreography but still have the same play every night.  Don’t believe me?  The UK/US citizens have been slowly but steadily horrified to find out the behind-the-scenes events in The War on Terror.  There are fundamental questions that must be raised when someone is screaming for blood and another is shedding it.