Munich (2005)

 

 

 

Director:  Steven Spielberg.

Starring:  Eric Bana (Avner), Daniel Craig (Steve), Ciarn Hinds (Carl), Carl Mathieu Kassovitz (Robert), Hanns Zischler (Hans), Ayelet Zurer (Daphna), Geoffrey Rush (Ephraim, Israeli contact man), Gila Almagor (Avner's Mother), Michael Lonsdale (Papa), Mathieu Amalric (Louis), Moritz Bleibtreu (Andreas), Valeria Bruni Tedeschi (Sylvie), Meret Becker (Yvonne), Marie-Jose Croze (Jeanette the Dutch Assassin), Yvan Attal (Tony - Andreas' Friend).

death of the 1972 Israel Olympic team and the Israeli attempt to kill all those responsible

 

 

This is a much better movie than I expected.  I feared that it would spend a lot of time on the death of the 1972 Israeli Olympic team.  I just am not a big fan of seeing innocent people be kidnapped and then killed.  It's not my idea of fun.  But the movie does not spend that much time on this event, even though it is covered.

I also feared the movie would be a rah-rah movie for the Israeli "heroes" who killed Arab "terrorists."  But the movie is much more sophisticated than than that.  In fact, it is a very good movie.  The Israeli hero of the movie takes the assignment to kill eleven of the planners of the massacre.  He is very gung-ho about his assignment and just knows he will get all eleven.  He is enthused when he meets his team of four members who are also deeply committed to killing the planners. 

But the assignment that seemed quite straight forward, starts to unravel as the Israelis kill more of the planners (and often those around the planners).  One of the team expresses doubts about the ethics of the killings, which some of the other team members immediately try to silence.  But the thought was out there.

The team relies too heavily on a French private source for the whereabouts of the planners, for a huge price of course.  And as the Israelis pay for this information, unbeknownst to them, the French source is selling knowledge of the Israelis' whereabouts to other hunters of men who work for other countries.  And soon the Israeli team is also losing members to political assassination. 

The French purveyors of addresses also act as travel agents for the Israeli team.  And, wouldn't you know it, they actually double book the Israelis and an Arab team of assassins into the same "safe" house on the same dates.  They narrowly avoid shooting each other, but damage is done to the Israeli team leader when the Arab team leader talks about his assignment in much the same terms as the Israeli team leader speaks about his.  All these things start to add up to make the Israeli team leader start to doubt his mission .  For, after all, won't this killing, this eye for an eye, just keeping going on for ever.  It all sums up in a crisis of conscience for the Israeli team leader. 

So what will happen to the Israeli team? and the Israeli team leader?  And how will the Israeli secret service react to the team leader's pangs of conscience?  Interesting questions.     

Patrick Louis Cooney, Ph. D. 

 

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