Sunday, June 8, 2008

Munich (2005)

Much as Steven Spielberg followed 1993's special-effects blockbuster Jurassic Park with a far more downbeat and personal project later the same year, Schindler's List, in 2005 after tearing up the box office with War of the Worlds the director closed out the year with a powerful and thoughtful drama about the human costs of international terrorism. The 1972 Olympics in Munich, Germany, were supposed to be a peaceful gathering of outstanding athletes from around the world, but on September 5, the games took a sinister turn when eight masked Palestinian terrorists invaded the Olympic village, killing two Israeli athletes and abducting nine others. The kidnappers demanded safe passage out of Germany in addition to the release of Arab prisoners in Israeli and German prisons, but when they arrived at the Munich airport they were met by German police and military forces, and in the melee that followed, all nine hostages were killed. In the wake of the killings, the Israeli government gave Mossad, the nation's intelligence agency, a special assignment -- to track down and eliminate the Palestinians responsible for the death of the Israeli athletes. A young and idealistic Mossad agent (Eric Bana) is assigned to the four-man unit created to wipe out the Olympic terrorists, but while he believes in serving his country, as their bloody work goes on he begins to buckle under the weight of his work and wonders if he can morally justify his nation's acts of revenge. Munich also stars Geoffrey Rush, Daniel Craig, Mathieu Kassovitz, and CiarĂ¡n Hinds. ~ Mark Deming, All Movie Guide

Theatrical Feature Running Time: 164 mins
Munich (2005)
Quite a good movie expanding on how people react in times of tensions-although just like any film about reality certain aspects of the film is dramatized for carrying the dialogue. I initially wanted to watch this just for the references with RAF (The Red Army Faction or RAF (German Rote Armee Fraktion) (in its early stages commonly known as Baader-Meinhof Group [or Gang])).
The Mossad agents, tasked with tracing and assassinating Black September members, as depicted in the film Munich, pass themselves off to the Palestinian terrorists in a "safe-house" in Athens as the RAF. At another point in the film, the team leader visits an old friend, named Andreas, in Frankfurt and asks him if he's Baader-Meinhof.
Which was quite an funny part of the film when all were standing around with guns drawn on each other and finally one of the Israeli men called out their membership being RAF. They spend the night on opposite sides of the room and Daniel Craig - Steve does not mind pushing his way onto them also. At one time they look almost to fight the two groups when Daniel's character adjusts the short wave radio of the Palestinians to some Western Music and they go back and forth until they find one station they can agree on.

Not sure why they needed the Italian Group of thugs that seemed to backstab as the example above illustrated. It seems that with a little bit of detective work they could have found the masterminds of the Munich incidents on their own.

So maybe some find controversy in the depictions of Mossad agents but coming from Steven Spielberg then his portrayal may not be good enough for everyone but was presented in a level enough manner for myself.

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