Monday, January 30, 2006

Munich

Another good week-end closes with a trip to the cinema to see Mr. Spielberg’s new film Munich.

There have already been a couple of reams written about this film, particularly in the USA. The main reason for the fuss seems to be it’s portrayal of Palestinian Arabs as human beings rather than saliva-flecked anti-Semitic animals. Goodness me, whatever next?!?


Anyway, here’s what little I can add:

1) When he’s on form, Spielberg is a very good director indeed. There was a ton to enjoy in Munich, from the editing and action, to the lighting and unobtrusive period feel (it’s set mainly in Western Europe in the early 1970s).


2) Some of the best aspects of the script may owe a lot to Quentin Tarantino, who once explained that he made gangster films, but the trick was that the gangsters weren’t speaking about gangster type stuff... It’s the same in Munich – none of the Palestinian terrorists is seen doing anything remotely illegal. Many of them have partners and friends and careers and children. By contrast it's the Israeli vengence team that are abhorrent and criminal.

3) There was a really excellent scene or two in a French Chateau owned by a creepy yet charming “patron” who runs a private intelligence shop.

4) Judging by the T.V. documentary I saw last week, many of the killings in the film were fairly accurate in terms of method and means. This was surprise.

5) The most upsetting and horrible assassination didn’t happen in real life. I dunno what this tells us about truth and fiction and the way fiction sometimes tells the truth better than fact blah de blah de blah…. Whatever, it's a brilliant piece of cinema.

6) Black September’s cruel and foolish acts of terrorism were gift-wrapped propaganda presents. Israel used these gifts wisely and perhaps extended Western liberal support for the colony by as much as an extra decade. In fact it wasn't until General Ariel Sharon’s criminal invasion of the Lebanon in 1982 that Israel began to lose the widespread support it had enjoyed in the West since it’s foundation in 1948.

So... where does all this leave Munich? Well, despite it's faults and liberties with the truth it's a joy to see a good film that poses serious questions about the morality and effectiveness of our Forever War (a.k.a the war on terror).

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6 Comments:

Blogger Fred Titmus said...

Oh how the people of Israel danced for joy as their representative athletes were butchered, safe in the knowledge that the wonderful propaganda it would bring would vouchsafe their continued existence for another whole decade.

Yes, that's exactly what happened.

11:11 PM  
Blogger David Young said...

And the real irony of this? That Black September is named after the month in 1970 when Palestinians were killed by ... ... ...

not the CIA

not the jews

not the Zionists

...

step forward, Jordan!

Meanwhile, since Roger's banging on about wicked Israel again, here is a reality check. It's my rough and ready guide to:

Mass killings of Muslim people since 1969 -

This is how I look at things, taking the period of my lifetime as a completely arbitrary starting point.

I was born in 1969 -

===============================================


1970 - Jordan decides to expel the PLO, after it nearly assasinates the King. Kills 20,000 Palestinians in the process.

1980 - Iraq declares war on Iran, with 1,500,000 killed over the next eight years.

1979 - Saudi forces storm the mosque at Mecca, killing 237 religious students.

1980s to date - fighting between PKK and Turkish army kills 30,000.

1982 - Syrian army massacres the town of Hama, killing rougly 20,000 (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hama_massacre )

1990 - Iraq invades Kuwait and refuses to leave despite UN demands. War kills 500,000 Iraqis and thousands of Kuwaitis.

1991-2002, Algerian Civil War kills 100,000 people. ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Algerian_Civil_War )

1993 - Civil war in Somalia kills 300,000 in one year.

1994 - Civil war in Yemen - (I can't find a reference to the death toll).

1992-1997 - Tajikistan Civil War kills 50,000 ( http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/asia-pacific/country_profiles/1296639.stm )

2004 - Darfur conflict. Kills 180,000 to 300,000; Black muslims killed by Arab muslims.

( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Darfur_conflict )


It should be clear to even the most casual observer that for the whole of my lifetime the biggest killer of muslims has been other muslims. By a significant order of magnitude compared to Israel. Yet despite this, countless experts are trying to tell me that Israeli intransigence and American bias towards Israel is the greatest injustice against the muslim people.

How am I supposed to respect this?

DY

11:24 PM  
Blogger roGER said...

David Young typed:

"Yet despite this, countless experts are trying to tell me that Israeli intransigence and American bias towards Israel is the greatest injustice against the muslim people."

I'm sorry David, I've never made any such claim, and I don't know of any "expert" who has made such a claim, and I fail to see what your selective history has got to do with the film Munich???

Pray enlighten me.

- roGER

10:20 AM  
Blogger roGER said...

Fred wrote:

"how the people of Israel danced for joy as their representative athletes were butchered, safe in the knowledge that the wonderful propaganda it would bring would vouchsafe their continued existence for another whole decade."

I think you'll find they didn't dance for joy, Fred.

- roGER

10:24 AM  
Blogger David Young said...

Roger,

that was a modified version of something that I wrote in an argument elsewhere (Gutshot actually). Perhaps I could have modified it a bit more. But basically I think that you are completely unfair in your treatment of Israel and even if your criticisms of the country were fair, there are far bigger problems in the muslim world than Israel.

I find you very hard to understand. Regarding 'vengence' for instance, isn't it just common sense that the Israelis should track down those responsible and kill them to prevent the same people committing another atrocity?

Not having seen the film, I'm also puzzled by:

none of the Palestinian terrorists is seen doing anything remotely illegal.

What? Does the film not actually show the kidnapping and killing?

Many of them have partners and friends and careers and children.

Hitler had a dog and was married when he died.

By contrast it's the Israeli vengence team that are abhorrent and criminal.

Yes, the trouble with those Israelis is they don't understand that a jew's lot in life is to be a victim. The punchbag isn't supposed to hit back!

DY

4:38 PM  
Blogger roGER said...

David,

I suggest you see the film, then you may have some idea of where I'm coming from with statements like:

"none of the Palestinian terrorists is seen doing anything remotely illegal."

If you don't manage to see it, then I'm a afraid most (all?) of my comments regarding the film aren't going to make a whole lot of sense! I deliberately try to write stuff about contemporary films in such a way as I don't give too much away...

Regarding your comment:

"I think that you are completely unfair in your treatment of Israel"

All I ask Israel to do is return the land it's stolen from the Palestinian people, and allow the refugees to return home or be compensated.

You went on to write:

"and even if your criticisms of the country were fair, there are far bigger problems in the muslim world than Israel."

My concern is for the Palestinian people, many of whom are agnostics and Christians. Yes - really!

The Muslim world is vast and varied, and to speak of it as a single entity is a bit like calling Europe "Christendom."

- roGER

6:04 PM  

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