Munich - a Bad Movie
By Matania Ginosar
"Israel's consul-general in Los Angeles has lambasted Steven Spielberg's film about the 1972 Olympic massacre in Munich as a "superficial", "pretentious" and "problematic" work that draws an incorrect moral equation between Mossad agents and Palestinian terrorists."
The Israeli consul has to be polite to Spielberg and associates for obvious reasons. I do not. Allow me to tell you my impression of this movie.
I believe these remarks are too timid. After watching the Spielberg's movie "Munich" for just a few minutes I realized how damaging a movie it is for Israel and all who support it. The Israelis are presented, overall, in a very strong negative light.
"Munich" is especially negative because cinematically it is a well made, emotionally powerful movie. The reviewers like it, tens of millions will go to see it, and the movie's negative impressions of Israelis, and sympathetic views of Palestinian murderers will spread widely. This movie may do more damage to Israel in the long run, I believe, than many people can grasp - it touches people in the gut, in the most impressionable area of our being. No verbal explanation can counter the negative impacts of this movie!
Well made movies are able to generate strong emotions which can overcome logic and facts, and as you watch this movie you get a strong visceral impression how solid and effective are the Palestinian terrorists, and how ineffective and unjustified the Israelis can be.
The movie starts by showing a well organized and effective terrorist attack on the Israeli athletes in the 1972 "Munich" Olympics. No negative shots, no negative implications are shown or implied for this murderous attack on civilians in a global peace oriented event.
Then the movie concentrates on the "blood thirsty" determination of the Israelis secret services to eliminate the terrorists responsible for these murders. The Israelis are shown as enjoying the process, at least in the beginning, making mistakes, injuring and killing innocent people near by. To the movie's credit, however, the Israeli deep concern about minimizing innocent casualties is also emphasized.
Another example of the anti Israeli portrayal: The Arabs killing of members of the Israeli anti terrorist team are not shown at all, just the final, neat, sanitized, results are non-graphically shown. The killing by the Israeli team is shown with great explosions, bullet holes, blood dripping and worse. The impression the movie leaves with you is that the Palestinians kill, but it is ok, the Israelis, however, are brutal, unemotional killing machines.
The Arab terrorists are given too many chances to present their reasons for killing innocent Israelis, but the reasoning is distorted and one sided. The Israeli views are either weak or non existent.
Take the justification by one of the Arab terrorist for murdering Israeli civilians: - the Israelis after all expelled hundred of thousands of Palestinians in the war of 1947-8. The fact that the majority of the Palestinians who left their homes did so at the encouragement of their own leaders is not mentioned at all. (I was there in Israel and saw the Arab propaganda that encouraged the Palestinians to evacuate their communities so that the combines Arab armies would be able, more easily, to throw the Israelis to the sea). In reality just a small fraction of Arab refugees left in response to Israeli pressure.
The movie also does not mentioned that the Arabs started the war after the UN partition and that six Arab nations attacked Israel. Nor did it mention that equal number of Jews were suddenly expelled by most Arab governments without allowing them to take any belongings, just what they could carry by hand.
Despite my awareness of the historical details and facts behind this movie I was so affected by the emotional demonstration of this movie that I had nearly tears in my eyes. It was too gross too often, and the distortion of reality was so frustrating, and I could do nothing about it.
Spielberg and his two Jewish friends, the three owners of DreamWorks, SKG (Spielberg, Katzenberg, Geffen) who made and distributed this movie, produced, in my views, an anti Israeli movie written by an extremely liberal leaning writer that can see only one side of reality.
Spielberg's many contributions to Judaism has diminished drastically in my eyes because he so effectively, and wrongly, portrayed Israelis in such a negative light. He claimed that he tried to show a balanced views, but he did not. Spielberg explanation for making the movie is, at best, lame.
from the January 2006 Edition of the Jewish Magazine