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(Film) Munich

I was lucky enough to see Munich today. I wanted to catch this film as soon as I heard about it as it's an event I studied briefly at school in my history classes dealing with the Arab-Israeli conflict.

Munich is based upon a true story of 11 Israeli athletes who were captured in the Olympic Village in Munich at the 1972 games held there. They were subsequently killed along with all bar two of their captors. The film focuses on an undercover Israeli clean-up squad that was formed to take out Arabs and Palestinians supposedly connected to the planning and financing of the Munich killings.

The film is pretty long (164 mins) but certainly held my interest throughout - but then it is my kind of film. A political thriller never goes too far wrong in my books :p The cast was generally very good and Eric Bana certainly impressed in the lead role of Avner (I was very dubious about Bana after seeing The Hulk). I also didn't realise at the time but the guy who plays Steve (the South African) is Daniel Craig who is our future James Bond and was also the lead in the brilliant Layer Cake. I still don't know what he'll be like as Bond though - guess we'll have to wait and see.

Anyway, Munich certainly deserves the Oscar nominations it's received. The story is gripping and the characaters and events are well portrayed, as are the ideological conflicts and other world events that are happening to both those involved and the world at large at that time. I won't say much more for now as hopefully many of you will actually catch the film too.

School Report: B+/A-


( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
Feb. 3rd, 2006 01:03 am (UTC)
What I'd heard, that made me delay on watching the film, is that it's totally one sided in it's outlook. As in, the PLO are painted as evil villans and the Israelis as the good side. Is that true in your opinion?
Feb. 3rd, 2006 11:46 am (UTC)
I certainly wouldn't say it's a one-sided film.

Ok, the central figures of the film are all Israeli agents and I can see where people who haven't seen the film - or didn't pay attention to it - would believe it was very pro-Israel and anti-Palestinian/Arab. The detractors would be wrong though.

The catalyst of the film was the killing of the Israeli athletes in Munich and the high feeling that something must be done to retaliate and teach the Palestinians a lesson. Feeling runs high at the beginning of the film and whereas some of the central characters already show a mild degree of reluctance to their appointed task they are all in agreement that this is for the greater good. As the film progressors lines become much more blurred, doubt sets in on a number of the characters, and serious questions start getting rasied about the Israeli intelligence and the names the team is being given and why they are being given them. Also the greater circle of secret service activities and terrorist organisations is explored (to a very minor extent) with the realisation that all sides are working in conjunction with everyone, including sometimes against their own.

There are also points where the main characters meet (for whatever reason) with one of their targets socially which produce very mixed reactions in them considering what they will have to do. Especially as the targets come across as very human and generally very jovial and kind. There is also another point where the Israeli team meets up with a PLO team (both undercover and pretending to be other organisations) with a debate on why the Palestinians will never give up fighting for their home and freedom.

There is no winner in this film. There is no 'good guy'. The nearest to a 'good guy' is probably Bana's character and his team (well, some of them) whose opinions, as the film progressors, turn from disliking but being convinced of their cause to doubting every thing their governments tell them.

I certainly didn't come out of the cinema feeling anti-PLO and pro-Israel. The film tackles the issue and tries to give voice to all sides of the arguement whilst sticking to the films central issues.

You also see the consequences of the actions of the strike-force as the hostilities increase from both sides.

Go, watch the film, and if you disagree with me I'll be happy to debate about it!
Feb. 3rd, 2006 03:29 pm (UTC)
Well, sounds interesting. I may pop down at some point to see it. I think this weekend is busy socially though. :)
Feb. 3rd, 2006 07:28 pm (UTC)
I don't necessarily disagree, especially as I haven't seen it and it really doesn't sound like my kind of thing so I don't plan to. However, I understand that, despite it being based on true events, the film doesn't address one thing that happened: through duff information, they killed a guy who was completely uninvolved in the original killings.
Feb. 3rd, 2006 07:59 pm (UTC)
They killed at least one non-Palestinian who was not involved in any of it in the film. As for all of the other killings, doubt is raised towards the end of the film if any of them actually had a hand in the Munich killings. As for duff information, well there is some in places but nothing that I believe leads to the killing of the *wrong* target.
Feb. 3rd, 2006 10:16 pm (UTC)
If you have any doubts about Eric Bana at all see Chopper.

What still amazes me is that he originally was a stand up commedian in Australia and was in a very parochial Oz skit show.
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )

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